Cardinals discuss extension with Adam Wainwright’s agent

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Extension talks between Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals have dragged along, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the right-hander’s agent met with the team today.

“We want to get something done before spring training ends, and that’s our goal,” agent Steve Hammond told Goold. “They have communicated clearly that they want to keep Adam here, and we’ve communicated that he wants to be here. We have to keep working on that.”

Goold indicates that the Cardinals are willing to pay Wainwright like a top-of-the-line starter, which probably means more than $20 million per season, but they’ve so far balked at the length of the contract he’s looking for at age 31. Wainwright is a season removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, so that’s understandable, but he’s also one healthy season away from almost surely topping $100 million on the open market.

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.