Dodgers “nearing deal” with free agent Bobby Abreu

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CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman brings word on the budding market for Bobby Abreu, who was released by the Angels last week:

Abreu is still earning his $9 million salary this year from Anaheim, so he’s likely to sign where the most amount of playing time is available. And where he might have a shot at making a late run in October.

The 38-year-old was batting just .208/.259/.333 in 27 plate appearances for the Halos this season. A few miles northwest in Chavez Revine he would likely function as part-time left fielder (and regular pinch-hitter). The Dodgers currently sit alone atop the National League West standings with an impressive 17-8 record.

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UPDATE, 9:23 PM: FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Dodgers and Abreu are “nearing” a deal.

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.