Here is Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun:
The Jays called to inquire about the market price for former Jays right-hander, free agent Shaun Marcum, who went 20-11 with a 3.60 ERA in 44 starts for the Milwaukee Brewers in two seasons after being dealt for Brett Lawrie.
Marcum is only 30 years old and his career numbers (3.76 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 7.3 K/9) are very solid, but he missed two months of the 2012 season because of an elbow injury and should come far cheaper than the other well-known starters on the open market this winter. He’s among the best buy-low candidates available.
Marcum made a $7.73 million salary this summer. The Cubs have also been linked to him.
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.