UPDATE: John Henry shoots down the report of a Red Sox sale

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UPDATE: Peter Abraham of the Globe just spoke to John Henry and he shot the Fox report down in no uncertain terms:

“A sale of any kind is so far from our thinking it hasn’t even come up apart from technical planning issues involving death or disability. This report is completely without foundation.

“Regarding unnamed sources: Any sale discussions that may have taken place were missing three key people — Larry (Lucchino), Tom (Werner) and me. The Sox and any of the other components of FSG are not for sale and will not be for the foreseeable future.”

Makes one wonder what the Fox report was based on.  Maybe that estate planning stuff? Some hypothetical market research? God knows that in a day and age when the Dodgers sell for $2 billion that one might want to figure out what your team could bring you in a sale.

But yeah, that’s a pretty stark refutation.

11:33 AM: Earlier this year John Henry flatly denied rumors that he and his partners were looking to sell the Red Sox.  Now this, from Fox Business Network:

The owners of the Boston Red Sox are mulling a potential sale of the storied baseball franchise, and have even begun quietly shopping the team to potential buyers, the FOX Business Network has learned.

It’s still a shopping, not a final decision to sell, FOX reports. And it has a lot to do about Fenway Sports Group’s desire and/or ability to run both the Sox and Liverpool FC, it’s English Premier League team.  Both of which, by the way, have seen significant cost reductions and the dealing of players lately.

Harbinger of a sale, or just a business assessing its current position in light of recent setbacks?

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.