Jose Reyes was in Philadelphia yesterday, but it had nothing to do with the Phillies

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Jose Reyes was spotted at a Philadelphia restaurant yesterday, leading to some hasty speculation about the Phillies’ potentially being interested in the free agent shortstop, but any rumors can safely be shut down.

Reyes was apparently just in town visiting his daughter, who lives in Philadelphia, and general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. made it very clear that the Phillies had nothing to do with his presence, telling Jayson Stark of ESPN.com:

I never talk about free agents, but you can quote me on this. If he was in the Continental in Philly, I have no knowledge of it. I don’t even know if he was there. But if he was, I have no knowledge of it.

Amaro certainly has a history of making surprising, bold, and under-the-radar moves, but it seems pretty safe to conclude that signing Reyes won’t be one of them.

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.