Blue Jays' manager, GM disagree about Delgado

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Cito Gaston has said previously that he’d like the Blue Jays to bring back Carlos Delgado and MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that the manager “spent time lobbying” for the move while appearing at a team function last night:

If there’s some way to bring Carlos back here, I’d love to see him back here, because he can do a lot of things as far as helping the young kids about knowing about hitting. We haven’t forgotten him. I’m a big Carlos fan. So it would be nice to have him back here and to see him also perhaps go into that Hall of Fame with a Blue Jays uniform on. That would be great.

Delgado would no doubt be open to rejoining the Blue Jays, especially now that the Mets are seemingly out of the picture, but the 38-year-old first baseman was limping around winter ball and general manager Alex Anthopoulos has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t agree with Gaston:

When you have a player of that magnitude and the success that [Delgago] has had you’re always going to talk about it and see, “Is there a scenario? Is there a potential fit?” As we sit here today, we’ve got Lyle Overbay at first base and our priority would be to have Adam Lind as more of a DH. What we’re trying to do is always try to build as competitive a team as we can, but one that will also not hinder or block or impede upon a young player that we think is going to be a part of the core.

Anthopoulos was perfectly willing to admit that the Blue Jays may have some interest in Johnny Damon, so the downplaying of a potential Delgado reunion isn’t just an example of a GM being coy. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see if Gaston can change his mind between now and spring training because at this point it looks like Delgado might be available to anyone willing to offer a minor-league deal.

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.