Report: Marlins offer Dan Uggla a four-year deal

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The Marlins have been content to let Dan Uggla do the arbitration thing the past couple of years, actually going to arbitration before the 2009 season and signing a one-year arbitration-avoiding deal this past offseason. His consistently strong production, however, has led to the point where they have to go long term with him, it seems. He wants to stay there, they seem to like him, and if he leaves they have a big hole in their offense.  Suggestions have been, therefore, that Uggla and the Feesh were going to do a deal this winter, avoiding both his last year of arbitration eligibility and free agency next season.

To that end, Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins are offering Dan Uggla a four-year deal. Heyman says Uggla would only get $8 million in 2011, however, which isn’t much of a raise (he made $7.8 million in 2010).  In fact, given the year he had, it’s an insult.  It’s possible, I assume, that the offer could escalate sharply after that to coincide with new revenue realized by the move into the new ballpark next year. It would probably have to, you’d think, because Uggla could easily make more than that — a lot more than that — going into arbitration this year and then hitting the market next season.

Or, if the Marlins are so afraid of paying him more than $8 million in 2011, they could simply non-tender him.  Which would be cheap and shortsighted. But hey, it’s the Marlins we’re talking about.

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.