The Mets called the Padres about Huston Street

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The Mets will enter play this evening with a major-league worst 5.00 ERA out of their bullpen, but as long as they hang around in the playoff race, we should probably get used to them being connected to every relief pitcher on the market.

According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, the Mets recently called the Padres to inquire about closer Huston Street. With the Padres sitting in last place in the National League West, Street is a logical candidate to be moved in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

New York would be an interesting destination for Street, as he previously called current Mets bench coach and former Athletics manager Bob Geren “my least favorite person I have ever encountered in sports from age 6 to 27.” But their history shouldn’t stand in the way of a potential deal.

Street, 28, has a 1.42 ERA and 24/6 K/BB ratio over 19 innings this season and is a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities. He is still owed roughly half of his $7.5 million salary for this season while his contract includes a $500,000 buyout on a $9 million mutual option for 2013.

There’s nothing to indicate that a deal is close and other names figure to come up in the days ahead, including Oakland’s Grant Balfour and Houston’s Brett Myers.

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.