The Indians are negotiating a long term deal with Asdrubal Cabrera

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Indians’ GM Chris Antonetti said this morning that the team is negotiating a long-term extension with Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cabrera, who is 26, is coming off a great year: he hit .273/.332/.460 and socked 25 homers, scored 87 runs, drove in 92 and stole 17 bases.

Still: that was basically an explosion in production. There was some suggestion in his last previous full season that the power was developing — it was more doubles power — but it’s possible that 2011 was a bit of a fluke.

Not saying that a long-term deal is a bad idea — shortstop talent is scarce and the Tribe should lock him up if they can — but it’s possible that this is the best that we’ll ever see him play, so you don’t want to go too crazy yet.

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.