Carlos Beltran open to re-signing with Giants, but only if they add more offense

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Carlos Beltran told Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News that he “would consider” re-signing with the Giants this offseason “because the pitching is unbelievable” and he’s enjoyed his time in San Francisco, but added that he’d want assurances the team would work to improve the offense around him.

San Francisco ranks dead last among NL teams with 514 runs, which is 41 runs fewer than the next-to-last Padres and 184 runs fewer than the league-leading Reds.

Beltran was acquired at midseason specifically to address the lineup’s lack of punch and has certainly done his part by hitting .320 with a .905 OPS, but he’s also missed 14 of 45 games since the trade with injuries.

It may be a moot point, of course, as Baggarly notes that the Giants’ payroll situation makes re-signing Beltran “a remote possibility” in large part because they’re still on the hook for big salaries to Aaron Rowand and Barry Zito. All of which is why the decision to trade top prospect Zack Wheeler for two months of the impending free agent was such a risky move for the Giants.

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.