Hiroki Kuroda is talking to the Hiroshima Carp

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Hiroki Kuroda has made it clear that if he plays in the majors, it will be for the Dodgers and no one else.  But he doesn’t have to play in the majors.  According to Nikkan Sports — passed along by Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker — the Hiroshima Carp have made an offer to Kuroda, and he’s apparently considering it:

“I’m happy that they would evaluate my contributions like that. Naturally, I’m happy. A feeling that they really want to win came across.”

The Dodgers certainly wouldn’t want to lose the guy, but it definitely seems that money is not Kuroda’s motivator, so it’s kind of out of their hands.

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.