No fines issued for incident between Russell Martin and umpire Laz Diaz

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MLB executive vice president Joe Torre told WFAN’s Sweeny Murti earlier this evening that no fines were issued as a result of an alleged incident between Yankees catcher Russell Martin and umpire Laz Diaz on Wednesday night.

Martin said after Wednesday’s game that Diaz wouldn’t let him throw balls back to the pitcher, apparently as some for of punishment for arguing over balls and strikes. Martin, who likes to throw balls back to the pitcher in order to keep his arm warm, was allegedly told that it was a “privilege” he had to earn.

Martin used graphic language to describe Diaz in his post-game comments, which left him at risk for some sort of fine. Torre spoke with Martin and Diaz to get their respective sides of the story, but it appears both got off with strict warnings.

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.