UPDATE: Pirates close to deal for D-Backs' Chris Snyder

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UPDATE: Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic hears that the Diamondbacks are “close” to trading Chris Snyder to the Pirates. In fact, according to Piecoro, it sounds like the only thing standing in the way of a deal is approval from the commissioner’s office.

Piecoro is not sure of the players the D-Backs will receive in return or how much of Snyder’s remaining salary the team will cover.

9:48 PM, Friday: Major league sources tell Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that the Pirates are in talks with the Diamondbacks to acquire catcher Chris Snyder.

Snyder, 29, is batting .231/.352/.426 with 10 homers and 32 RBI over 195 at-bats with the Diamondbacks this season. He is making $4.75 million this season and $5.75 million in 2011. His contract contains a $6.75 million club option for 2012 or a $750,000 buyout.

The Diamondbacks have been attempting to shed his contract for quite a while now, but concerns about his back have scared a number of teams away. He has proved durable this season, even when Miguel Montero was on the disabled list after knee surgery, however the D-Backs would almost certainly have to cover some of the contract.

The trade would obviously be bad news for incumbent catcher Ryan Doumit, who is currently on the disabled list with a concussion. Either catcher would likely only be a placeholder until last year’s No. 1 pick Tony Sanchez is ready for the major leagues. Sanchez, 22, underwent jaw surgery earlier this month and could miss the rest of the season.

 

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.