Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Phillies all have some interest in Youkilis

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Is Kevin Youkilis on the block?  The anonymous sources say yes, the GM says no.  But whatever the Red Sox’ intentions are, Jon Heyman reports that there are three teams who are interested in Youk:  The Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Phillies.

Talks are “very preliminary,” he says, but they always start that way.  And there wouldn’t seem to be a great rush by anyone to get serious yet, as the deadline is still nearly two months away and none of the interested parties are so far out of their respective division leads or so far ahead in the case of the Dodgers to have to move right this second.

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.