Hey, Chuck Greenberg was delusional after all!

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Remember last week when Chuck Greeneberg said that his visits to Cliff Lee knocked the Yankees out of the running, and how Yankees President Randy Levine called Greenberg delusional for making such a suggestion?  Seems Levine was right. Here’s Heyman:

A series of interviews with several people either involved in the talks or with knowledge of them revealed the following picture:

“Delusional” may be a tad colorful, but Greenberg is likely wrong that his frequent trips moved the Rangers ahead of the Yankees, if indeed they were ever ahead. If the Rangers had a slight advantage over the Yankees, it was very likely because Lee enjoyed his time in Texas, not his visits with Greenberg. According to people in the know, the frequency of trips very likely had nothing to do with Lee’s decision at one point to counter Texas’ $120 million, six-year proposal with a request to approximate the Yankees’ $148 million, seven-year offer.

I chuckled at the “not his visits with Greenberg” line. Putting it that way makes old Chuck’s claim in the starkest relief. Lee’s a hunter and a family man. On what planet is sipping team with Greenberg in the parlor and talking business going to make him more likely to consider the Rangers?

All of that said, Levine was still being a jerk in his response to Greenberg because that whole revenue sharing = welfare business was totally beside the point and rather obnoxious.

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.