The Yankees and Pirates are still talking about A.J. Burnett

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The Pirates apparently nixed a proposed A.J. Burnett-for-Garrett Jones deal, but Heyman reports that the sides are still talking and that it’s more along the lines of salary dumpage now.  Specifically, they’re “a few million apart” on a deal that would basically send Burnett to Pittsburgh in exchange for salary relief.

And — setting aside how odd it is to be hearing the Yankees in need of salary relief — what would the Yankees do with the dollars saved on Burnett?  Likely sign Eric Chavez for another year of his backup infield duty and then sign the other half of a DH platoon, likely in the form of Raul Ibanez.

No one sounds crazy optimistic that this will happen, but I’m struggling to think of the last time the Yankees were reported to be trying to do a deal and didn’t accomplish it.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.