Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell a possibility in Toronto

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CSN New England is reporting that Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell is in the running for the Blue Jays’ managerial vacancy and is said to be on Toronto’s “short list.”  CSN is also saying that there’s a possibility that he could be interviewed for the Mariners job as well.

Farrell has declined interviews with multiple teams in the past, including the Indians, Mariners and Pirates. This is not due to his lack of interest in managing, however. Rather, the Sox gave Farrell one of the more lucrative contracts in all of coaching a few years ago with one reported catch: he was not allowed to interview with any other teams until after the 2010 season.

It’s after the 2010 season, of course, and Farrell has said in the past that he’d like to manage.  Given that Boston’s pitching staff took a step back this year and given that one does not retain his status as a hot managerial candidate for long, it may not be a terrible time for Farrell to jump ship.

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.