GM says Prince Fielder “probably not a good fit” for Tigers

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Victor Martinez’s season-ending knee injury puts the Tigers in the market for a veteran designated hitter and has some fans getting their hopes up for Prince Fielder, but general manager Dave Dombrowski threw cold water on that notion yesterday.

Angela Wittrock of MLive.com asked the GM about Fielder during the Tigers’ winter caravan tour and Dombrowski replied:

Of course we’d consider Prince Fielder, but realistically it’s probably not a good fit. We anticipate Victor Martinez coming back in 2013 and playing at the level he was at last season. I would just say the fit is really not there at this point.

Fielder might make sense as a Martinez replacement this season if the Tigers were willing to dramatically expand their payroll, but the problem is that Fielder will require a long-term deal and Martinez is owed $13 million this year, $13 million next year, and $12 million in 2014. And the Tigers also have first baseman Miguel Cabrera under contract for $86 million over the next four seasons.

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.