BREAKING: The Mets owners have settled with the bankruptcy trustee for $162 million

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UPDATE: Richard Sandomir reports that the settlement is for $162 million.

This is still a hefty chunk of change, but it is less than the liability they faced. And, more importantly, it brings certainty to what has been an uncertain liability hanging over the team’s head for a couple of years now.

9:27 AM: The trial involving the Mets owners and the bankruptcy trustee in the Bernie Madoff mess was to begin this morning.  Minutes ago, however, it was announced that the parties have reached a settlement.

This was not expected. And at the moment we have no details.  We’ll update as soon as we learn some.

Instant reaction, though: My guess is the Wilpons and Saul Katz don’t settle unless it allows them enough financial comfort to keep control of their most treasured asset, the New York Mets.

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.