Rockies in talks with Red Sox for Marco Scutaro … maybe

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UPDATE: Not so fast. Less than an hour after his original report Renck says “talks are now fizzling.”

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies “are close to acquiring” Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox.

Colorado has been looking for a veteran second baseman and Scutaro would be a nice addition, but the deal doesn’t make much sense for Boston unless the Red Sox have another move up their sleeve for a new shortstop.

They already traded Jed Lowrie to the Astros last month and prospect Jose Iglesias, while a slick fielder, hit just .235 at Triple-A last season as a 21-year-old. Parting with Scutaro would leave Nick Punto or Mike Aviles atop the shortstop depth chart for now, so it’s pretty safe to say there would be another move coming.

And by clearing Scutaro’s $6 million salary off the books the Red Sox might also be in stronger position to pursue a free agent starting pitcher like Roy Oswalt or Edwin Jackson.

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.