The Astros are shopping everyone

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Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to Wandy Rodriguez, the Astros are shopping Brett Myers and Carlos Lee too.

The problem, of course, is that all of those dudes are owed a lot of money. Both Rodriguez and Myers are owed in excess of $10 million a year for the next couple of years. Lee is owed a staggering $18.5 million.  Each could be marginally useful, but it’s not like anyone is going to give up anything of value for them.

Still, when you take over a team, clearing the decks is probably pretty cathartic, so Jim Crane likely doesn’t care all that much what he gets for those dudes as long as it’s not nothing.

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.