The Mariners are calling the Dodgers to, I dunno, ask how their day has been

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From Buster Olney’s column today:

The Seattle Mariners have called the Los Angeles Dodgers repeatedly about Andre Ethier, and while the Dodgers’ intention is to open the season with him as their right fielder, they have told other teams all winter that they’re always willing to listen to offers. As of now, the Mariners haven’t been moved to present any, sources say.

If they’re not making offers, what are they saying on those calls?

I really don’t understand trade rumors sometimes.

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.