Orioles release Kevin Gregg

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Predictably none of the other 29 teams wanted anything to do with Kevin Gregg’s remaining contract, even for just a few weeks of salary, so the Orioles released the veteran reliever after designating him for assignment Tuesday.

Gregg produced a 4.53 ERA and 64 walks in 103 innings for the Orioles on a two-year, $10 million contract and at age 34 will likely have to settle for a modest one-year deal as a middle reliever for 2013.

He’s had a sub-4.00 ERA just three times in nine full seasons and has a career mark of 4.11, yet has saved 144 games and earned more than $20 million. Getting that “proven closer” label is a helluva thing.

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.