Could Francona get the band back together in Cleveland?

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At least part of it?  Here’s some speculation from Heyman that actually makes sense:

The White Sox would like to re-sign third baseman Kevin Youkilis. But some see the rival Indians, who’ve hired his friend Terry Francona to manage, as a potential threat to try to sign Youkilis now.

The Indians’ interest is mostly in the speculative stage, but it makes sense. The Indians could use hitters, and especially righthanded ones.

If I’m running the Indians I try to leave first base open for Carlos Santana because I think that’s where his future lies, but they could do way worse than to have Youk around for some combination of 1B/3B/DH.

Youkilis has a $13 million option that the White Sox are expected to decline, making him fair game for anyone.  Crazier things have happened than him taking a two-year deal or something in Cleveland.

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.