Yadier Molina and Cardinals moving closer to extension

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Yesterday the Cardinals were said to have “re-engaged” in contract talks with Yadier Molina after negotiations were previously tabled and now Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the two sides could be nearing a deal.

According to Strauss “movement on Molina is significant enough that source familiar with the situation believes agreement could be reached within a week.”

Last night our own Matthew Pouliot crunched some numbers on recent catcher contracts and speculated that $44 million over four years could be a reasonable fit. That may not seem like a mega-contract, but it would actually be one of the five largest deals ever for a catcher.

Molina is heading into the final season of a five-year, $21.75 million deal and coming off a career-year at age 28.

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.