The Rangers are in the market for an infielder

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While Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram poured some cold water on Craig’s report about Roy Oswalt, he added that the Rangers have spoken with the Orioles about Ty Wigginton and the Marlins about Wes Helms. The club is currently seeking a right-handed bat to serve as the primary backup at first base and third base.

It makes plenty of sense for the Rangers to get some sort of veteran steward behind rookie first baseman Justin Smoak. We’re still talking about a pretty small sample size here, but the 23-year-old switch-hitter is batting .272/.395/.466 in 103 at-bats against right-handers compared to a meager .096/.186/.192 triple-slash in 52 at-bats against southpaws. He put up similar splits on the minor league level, so it would behoove them to acquire a complimentary right-handed bat if they hope to contend in the American League West.

Just earlier today, Aaron mentioned that the Rangers were in the mix for Conor Jackson while on Friday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Rangers were still in talks to acquire Mike Lowell from the Red Sox. Boy, those crazy kids have quickly become the best “will they or won’t they” storyline since Jim and Pam. Synergy, folks!

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.