Jose Reyes’ new contract is extremely backloaded

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The Marlins finalized their six-year, $106 million agreement with shortstop Jose Reyes on Wednesday afternoon at baseball’s Winter Meetings in Dallas. What they didn’t reveal is how dangerously backloaded the money on that contract is. Here’s the tweet from Joel Sherman of the New York Post:

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In other words, Reyes will earn just $10 million in 2012 and 2013, $16 million in 2014, then a whopping $22 million annually between 2015-2017. Which may or may not create some problems.

The Marlins, as with any franchise debuting a new stadium, have a few guaranteed years of strong attendance numbers. People will want to see the place, and they’ll want to see the new stars that the Fish are bringing in this offseason. But what happens if those attendance numbers begin to dwindle after the initial rush? What happens if Miami misses the playoffs for the first few seasons at the new park in Little Havana and the buzz suddenly wears off? Good luck executing another fire-sale with that kind of guaranteed money.

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.