Ryan Braun’s name discovered in the Biogenesis records

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From Jeff Passan and Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports:

Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun’s name is in records of the Miami-area clinic alleged to have distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a rash of baseball players, and Major League Baseball will investigate the link to the former MVP who tested positive for illegal synthetic testosterone during the 2011 postseason.

Braun was cleared of that 2011 positive test due to what was perceived to be an error in the handling of his urine sample. His name is not listed next to any specific PED transactions in the Biogenesis records, but Major League Baseball will investigate the matter in the hope of learning about the outfielder’s exact level of involvement.

Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia were also discovered in the records at the Biogenesis clinic but, like Braun, were not listed in connection with a specific PED.

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UPDATE, 11:21 PM: Braun says in a written statement that he used Bosch for consulting in his successful PED appeal and that he has “nothing to hide” —

“During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant. More specifically, he answered questions about T/E ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples. There was a dispute over compensation for Bosch’s work, which is why my lawyer and I are listed under ‘moneys owed’ and not on any other list. I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch. I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.”

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.