The Mets want to bring back Mike Pelfrey

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Mike Pelfrey underwent Tommy John surgery in May and won’t be ready for the beginning of the season. Indeed, given how long it can take for post-TJ pitchers to regain command, he may not be terribly useful for much of 2013, let alone the beginning.  That is not dissuading the Mets, however. Mike Puma of the New York Post reports that, as suspected, New York wants to bring him back.

He’s gonna get non-tendered, obviously, so he’ll come way cheaper than the $5.6 million he made in 2012. And given the injury and uncertainty, it’s unlikely that he’ll get a ton of interest from other teams, giving the Mets a cheap later-season starter and/or trade chit.

Mike Puma’s column notes that the Mets will likely take the same non-tender/re-sign tack with center fielder Andres Torres.  Also: if the Red Sox make Jarrod Saltalamacchia available in a trade, Sandy Alderson would be interested.

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.