Erik Bedard undergoes shoulder surgery. What's next?

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Ryan Divish of the Tacoma News Tribune passes along word that right-hander Erik Bedard has, as expected, undergone season-ending surgery on his shoulder.  The procedure was performed by Mariners surgeon Dr. Edward Khalfayan and assisted by Dr. Lewis Yocum.  It was deemed a success.

“I feel good,” Bedard said.”It’s good to get it over with. I mean, they
found what it was and it’s going to be an easy rehab compared to last
year.”

Bedard, 31, did not throw a pitch in a major league game this season and the Mariners will almost certainly let his $8 million option for 2011 go unexercised.  He expects to be ready by spring training but teams will be hesitant to give him any kind of guaranteed money until he proves that he is on his way back to full health. 

It will be an uphill battle for Bedard, who posted a 2.82 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 15 starts last season and struck out 90 batters over 83 innings.  Maybe the Mariners will have him back on an incentives-based pact.

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.