Hudson deciding between Twins and Nationals?

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It sounds like Orlando Hudson is close to deciding on his new team, although reports vary a bit on where he’s likely to end up.
For instance, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reported this morning that the “Twins appear to be serious in their pursuit of Orlando Hudson.” Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune agrees, reported yesterday that the Nationals were “getting close” to signing Hudson to a one-year deal “for $3 million with incentives that could easily reach $4 million.”
If the Twins are only interested in Hudson if his price drops below $3 million and the Nationals have offered him a one-year deal worth $3 million plus incentives … well, then it sure seems like Hudson is going to sign with Washington unless he’s willing to pass up money to play for a better team. None of which explains why the Twins aren’t willing to spend more than $3 million to fill their need for a second baseman and No. 2 hitter.

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.