Report: Albert Pujols believed to have nine-year offer on the table from the Marlins

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When we woke up Tuesday morning, we learned that the Marlins reportedly made a six-year, $90 million offer for Jose Reyes. Well, their offer for Albert Pujols almost certainly blows that one out of the water.

According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Marlins’ offer to Pujols “is believed to be” for nine years.

Unfortunately Brown’s report doesn’t tell us anything about the proposed dollar amount, but what we do know is that Pujols turned down a nine-year offer from the Cardinals in February. We’ve been under the impression that Pujols was offered approximately $210 million (or $23.3 million per season) at the time, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported Tuesday night that the Cardinals didn’t even top $200 million.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reported over the weekend that the Cardinals weren’t going to improve the offer their previous offer unless forced to do so by a competing bid. We’ve regularly wondered where that bid would come from since the Yankees and Red Sox are presumed to be out of the mix. The Marlins are clearly trying to create some buzz for their new ballpark, so even if Pujols wants to stay in St. Louis, his agent Dan Lozano may have found the perfect leverage here.

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.