Must-click link: Anatomy of a blockbuster

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Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun has penned an excellent piece detailing how the recent 12-player blockbuster trade between the Blue Jays and Marlins went down. It’s rare that we get a fly-on-the-wall perspective on the inner workings of a trade, but Elliott has it from both sides and presents it in an entertaining and informative light. It’s tremendous work and definitely worth your attention.

At the very least, just click on the link to read how Jeff Mathis was almost responsible for the deal falling apart. That’s right, Jeff Mathis.

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.