Four teams interested in Dontrelle Willis

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willis leg kick.jpgWe knew about the Diamondbacks, but according to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the Mets, Brewers and Marlins are also interested in Dontrelle Willis.

We were hearing various tweets and emanations from the Mets this morning that they weren’t really interested in Willis, what with already having their own walk-happy lefty. At least Willis is agreeable, however, so you think they’d rather have him around to walk people as opposed to Oliver Perez.

Mostly, though, this illustrates the flexibility of the word “interested.”  I’m interested in having Willis come to my house to tell me stories about baseball and teach my son how to throw a curveball, but it’s not so great an interest that I’m going to pursue it.

I think that may be the case with a lot of these teams. The Dbacks have a need to try something — anything — in their bullpen. The other guys are probably just saying nice things in response to a reporters’ inquiry about a basically free pitcher.  Because really, for as much as I love me some D-Train and want him to succeed, I’m not sure how he helps anyone at the moment.

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.