A team-by-team breakdown of offseason spending so far

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I’ve seen a few posts around the web in which writers have reported how much money in contracts teams have handed out in total this winter — I think we’re at or near a billion now — but I find that to be rather abstract and not entirely useful. In contrast, however, Ben Nicholson-Smith at MLB Trade Rumors put a great post up late last night breaking down how much each team has spent so far this offseason. That’s something I can get my arms and mind around a bit more easily.

No surprise: the Red Sox have spent the most, making $172 million in commitments, and that’s not even counting the inevitable Adrian Gonzalez contract extension that will come in the spring. The Nats and Phillies are two and three. Again, no shock there. What is shocking: that the Marlins have out-spent the Cubs, Mets and Braves.

On average teams have committed $40 million each to new contracts this winter. The median, however, is only $19 million, so yeah, there are a small handful of teams propping up the mean.

Definitely click through, as Nicholson-Smith breaks each team’s expenditures down by player.

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.