Marlins plan to fire longtime GM/president Larry Beinfest

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Larry Beinfest was hired as the Marlins’ general manager when Jeffrey Loria took over as owner in 2002 and was later promoted to president of baseball operations, but after an offseason spending spree followed by a disappointing season he’s reportedly on the way out.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today spoke to “two high-ranking executives” who say the Marlins “are planning to fire Beinfest … perhaps as early as next week.”

According to Nightengale the Marlins will promote assistant general Dan Jennings to replace him. Meanwhile, he writes that manager Ozzie Guillen is expected to keep his job with three years remaining on a $10 million contract.

Under Beinfest the Marlins won the World Series in 2003 and, despite frequently having one of the league’s lowest payrolls until now, have had winning seasons in five of his 11 years. However, the team’s last winning season came in 2009 and it’s no surprise that someone is taking the fall for the free-spending offseason likely leading to 90-plus losses moving into the new ballpark.

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.