Rockies drawing plenty of trade interest in Seth Smith

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Colorado has been shopping Seth Smith all offseason and now that the Rockies have signed Michael Cuddyer those efforts figure to increase, with Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reporting that they’re getting interest from a handful of teams.

According to Morosi the Mariners, A’s, Braves, Mets, and Rays have talked to the Rockies about Smith, who hit .284 with 15 homers and an .830 OPS in 147 games this past season.

Smith’s raw numbers are inflated by Coors Field and he’s never really hit left-handed pitching, but the 28-year-old outfielder would help plenty of teams as a platoon player. He’s a career .292 hitter with an .881 OPS versus right-handers.

Morosi says the Rockies want pitching or infield help for Smith, who’s slated to make about $2 million in 2012 via arbitration.

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.