Wang expected to sign by end of this week

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Last week, after reports varied about whether Chien-Ming Wang had signed with the Nationals or not, Craig declared himself “out of the Wang business.” I’d hate to force him back into such a business, so instead I’ll provide the latest update on the free agent right-hander …
Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Wang is expected to make a decision on his new team by the end of this week and also notes that “the Nationals continue to be the leading candidates.” Ladson was among the most vocal dissenters last week when Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reported that Wang and Washington already had a deal in place, but it looks like those disagreements may prove to simply be a matter of timing.
Washington is said to be have offered Wang a one-year deal worth around $2 million in guaranteed money and another $2 million in incentives, which is surprisingly inexpensive compared to the $10 million that the A’s guaranteed Ben Sheets after missing all of last season. The big difference is that Sheets is hoping to be in the Opening Day rotation, whereas Wang is aiming to return some time in May. Hopefully we can convince Craig to get back in the business by then.

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.