White Sox don’t plan on exercising Youk’s $13 million option

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Kevin Youkilis has posted an .864 OPS with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 33 games since joining the White Sox. They love him, but that love has limits.

A White Sox official told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe this weekend that the club is unlikely to exercise Youk’s $13 million club option for the 2013 campaign. That’d make him a free agent, but the Pale Hose “didn’t give up much and aren’t assuming much of his 2012 salary” so they’ll be content if he turns out to be merely a rental property.

Chicago enters play Sunday with a 58-48 record, ranking first in the American League Central standings.

Youkilis was batting .233/.315/.377 in 42 games with the Red Sox before they dealt him in exchange for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and righty Zach Stewart. Lillibridge was designated for assignment then traded to the Indians last month. Stewart has a 3.76 ERA and 1.30 WHIP through 38 1/3 innings at Triple-A Pawtucket.

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.