Jason Giambi would be fine with the Rockies trading him, but wants to come back in 2012

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Jason Giambi is currently on the disabled list with a strained quadriceps, but once healthy he’s a candidate to be traded to a contender in search of a left-handed bench bat before August 31.

And he’d be fine with the Rockies trading him, but Giambi wants to return to Colorado in 2012 either way.

“As long as it doesn’t hurt my chances of coming back here, I’m up for it,” Giambi told Troy Renck of the Denver Post. “That’s the thing I wanted most for them to hear. If there was a situation where it was, ‘Oh, I think this would be a good opportunity for you,’ that would be fine as long as they know I want to come back.”

Giambi obviously isn’t going to fetch a ton in trade, but if the Rockies can cash him in for a mid-level prospect and then re-sign him to another reasonably priced one-year contract during the offseason anyway it would certainly make sense to do so. Before the injury Giambi hit .260 with a .625 slugging percentage, smacking 10 homers in just 96 at-bats playing behind Todd Helton. He’d beef up any bench and might even be useful to some teams as a part-time designated hitter.

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.