Marlins initiate extension talks with Dan Uggla

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Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the Marlins have “initiated” talks toward a contract extension with second baseman Dan Uggla.

Sadly, it doesn’t mean much.  Jackson says that the Fish are only willing to fork over about $30 million on a three-year pact, which is far less than what Uggla and his agent are seeking in both years and total cash.

The 30-year-old second baseman hit a game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s 5-4 extra-innings victory over the Cardinals.  In fact, he’s hit at least 30 home runs in each of the last three seasons and is cruising right toward that number this year with 25 dingers through 403 at-bats.

While not great, Uggla isn’t as awful defensively as some people think and he consistently posts strong power numbers at a position where such things are scarce.  He has one more year of salary arbitration, but then it sounds like he might need to head elsewhere.  There will be no shortage of interest if he does reach the free agent market.

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.