Jason Giambi hoping to return for 19th MLB season

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Jason Giambi is batting .241/.380/.329 with one home run in 100 plate appearances this season for the Rockies and just spent over a month on the disabled list with a viral infection. But he apparently hasn’t been discouraged.

According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, the 41-year-old impending free agent told reporters on Saturday that he plans to return in 2013 for his 19th major league season.

“If somebody wants me,” Giambi joked.

The Rockies need to do some rebuilding and seem likely to move on, but Giambi might be able to attract interest back in the American League as a part-time DH and bench bat if he is willing to accept a one-year deal worth close to the major league minimum.

He’s a .281/.404/.523 career hitter with 429 career home runs.

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.