Report: Carlos Lee turned down a trade to the Yankees

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The Marlins got Carlos Lee from the Astros because he didn’t want to go to a contender in Los Angeles. Now they’re stuck with him because he didn’t want to join the Yankees, two sources told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.

Lee presumably would have been picked up by the Yankees in lieu of Casey McGehee, who was acquired from the Pirates for Chad Qualls just before the trade deadline. McGehee offers extra versatility by virtue of being able to play third base, whereas Lee would have given the Yankees a more consistent bat as a first base and DH option while they try to cover for their injuries.

It will be interesting to see if the Marlins just go ahead and release Lee at some point. The Astros are already on the hook for most of his salary, so there’s little financial incentive for keeping him. Of course, with Gaby Sanchez gone and Logan Morrison on the disabled list, the Marlins still have use for the warm body at the moment.

Lee has hit .271/.388/.343 with one homer and 12 RBI in 21 games since joining the Marlins last month. Overall, he’s at .284/.348/.396 with six homers and 41 RBI in 328 at-bats for the year.

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.