Dodgers may wait until early December to negotiate with Korean left-hander Ryu Hyun-Jin

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Via Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times:

The Dodgers could wait until after the winter meetings to decide whether to sign South Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin, team President Stan Kasten said Monday.

The Dodgers paid $25.7 million for the right to negotiate with Ryu. If they do not sign him by Dec. 10, they get their money back.

“That’s a decision that doesn’t have to be made until after the winter meetings are over,” Kasten explained to Hernandez.

The Dodgers want to see how the free agent market is shaking out before committing to Ryu for 2013 and beyond. Which only makes sense. The 25-year-old southpaw is thought to be major league-ready, but Los Angeles’ ownership has deep pockets and might be able to find more certainty down in Nashville.

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.