UPDATE: Luke Scott signs with the Rays

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UPDATE:  Scott has come to an agreement pending a physical, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The deal is beleived to be one year plus an option.

1:15 PM: Topkin just tweeted that the Rays are “moving closer” to signing Scott.

10:32 AMMarc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times said yesterday that the Rays are considering Luke Scott for the DH role.  It doesn’t sound like it’s necessarily serious — Seth Smith is also being discussed — but my ears always perk up when Luke Scott is mentioned because there’s always a chance of crazy.

As for the baseball merits, he might be a pretty good value signing. Granted, he only hit .220/.301/.402 in 209 at-bats last season, but his shoulder was obviously bugging him and his season was eventually ended by surgery.  The year before he hit .284/.368/.535.  Big risks, to be sure, because shoulder problems can just destroy a player, but if he bounces back it could be pretty sweet for whoever signs him as the money will likely be low.

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.