Matt Cain and Giants have “plenty of mutual interest” in contract extension

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Matt Cain is one season away from hitting the open market as a 28-year-old free agent and told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he’s unlikely to discuss a long-term contract extension once spring training is over.

“We’d all like something resolved by the end of spring training,” Cain said. “I don’t think either side wants that to linger into the season.”

Baggarly describes the two sides as having “plenty of mutual interest” in an extension, but barring a major injury Cain is likely in line for a $100 million deal as a free agent.

His win-loss records have typically been underwhelming because of poor run support, but Cain has thrown 200-plus innings in five straight seasons while posting ERAs of 3.65, 3.76, 2.89, 3.14, and 2.88. Rarely does a starting pitcher of that quality become a free agent at such a young age–he debuted at age 20–so it’s hard to imagine Cain not being able to get at least a six-year deal for huge money.

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.