Paul Janish, Braves avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Paul Janish, who was acquired from the Reds in July, has avoided arbitration with the Braves by agreeing to a one-year contract.

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Janish will get around $1 million for his second season of arbitration eligibility. And after hitting just .186 in 55 games for the Braves he’s slated for a utility infielder role in 2013.

O’Brien also notes that Janish could miss the beginning of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery in October. Janish dislocated his non-throwing shoulder in mid-September, but played through the injury.

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.