Sandy Alderson flew to Houston to meet with Michael Bourn

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Sandy Alderson and his assistant GM John Ricco paid a visit to Michael Bourn in Houston last week.

Which, unless Alderson was cashing in Southwest Rewards points or something, shows at least some level of commitment.  But it doesn’t sound at all like something is imminent.  As we noted yesterday, Bourn is reportedly looking for a five-year deal.  Sherman says that the Mets are unwilling to go beyond three years, and that they’re willing to wait Bourn out and hope he gets desperate.

Which may not be the worst thing given where they are competitively and given how few teams really seem to be interested in Bourn at the moment.

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.