Albert Pujols’ future in St. Louis: murky at best?

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I’m pretty sure I’m going to use that “murky at best” stuff every time I link an article at Grantland.  I’m hoping the fact that I’m friendly with Rany and Jonah and all of those guys will keep them from getting too mad at me for it, but you don’t get to choose your memes and catchphrases. They choose you.

Anyway, provocative stuff from Jonah Keri today in that he asks whether the Cardinals would be better off not signing Albert Pujols after this season.

OK, Cards fans, put the revolver down. Because it’s Jonah, know that it’s not some shock piece. He’s running the numbers and the dollars and pointing out all of the difficult considerations that the Cardinals themselves have before them in light of El Hombre’s impending free agency.

Believe me: they’re going to be doing more than saying “we CAN’T lose Pujols!” and then throw their hands up in helplessness. They’re thinking about this stuff hard and, if you care about Pujols’ and the Cardinals’ future, you should be too.

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.