What the heck is a "pillow contract?"

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That’s what Boras called Beltre’s deal with the Red Sox a little while ago. When the roomful of reporters couldn’t grok his meaning, he explained what he meant:

“A pillow contract is, basically, you lay down, it’s comfortable, it’s soft, it’s there. But the fact of the matter is it’s not with you all the time. That’s a one-year contract. Your pillow, you leave it, you come back, it’s there,” said Boras. “Short-term, you use it for a little bit, then you move on.”

Few people know this, but Boras has been giving nicknames to his contracts for years. For example, given that the Cardinals are never going to be rid of it, Boras refers to the Holliday’s deal a “herpes contract.”

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.