Tigers interested in re-signing utility man Ramon Santiago

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General manager Dave Dombrowski said yesterday that the Tigers are unlikely to re-sign free agents Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen, but he also made it clear that they’d like to bring back Ramon Santiago in his old utility man role.

Dombrowski acknowledged that Santiago may be focused on finding a starting job and “it wouldn’t surprise me if someone stepped up and offered him an everyday role and the type of dollars that he’s looking to receive somewhere else.”

Santiago has averaged just 278 plate appearances during the past four years, but he’s hit .266 with a .709 OPS and is a plus defender at shortstop and second base. If he ends up re-signing with Detroit it’ll likely be because he wasn’t offered an everyday job elsewhere.

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.