The Dodgers have inquired about Michael Young

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Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that the Dodgers have “had preliminary talks” with the Rangers about Michael Young. Gurnick reports, however, that a trade to the Dodgers is “a very long shot.”

As D.J. noted last night Young is from Southern California and the Dodgers are on his list of teams to which he’d accept a trade.  But really, there isn’t much to suggest a match here.  The Dodgers don’t have a ton of money to spend, thus meaning that the Rangers would probably have to pick up even more of Young’s contract to send him to the Dodgers than they otherwise will.

More to the point, though, is that there isn’t a clear position for Young to play in L.A.  Casey Blake has third base covered, Furcal has short, Loney has first and there is no DH.  If Young is all bent out of shape about not having a set position in Texas, the Dodgers aren’t going to make him feel any better on that score.

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.