David Wright could be back next week

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Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Mets third baseman David Wright ran the bases on Wednesday afternoon for the first time since suffering a severe (Grade 3) hamstring strain in early August.

The workout went well and Mets manager Terry Collins told Rubin that Wright has been cleared to run the bases again on Thursday. If everything continues to go smoothly, Wright could be back in the Mets’ starting lineup by the middle of next week.

The 30-year-old was hitting .309/.391/.512 with 16 homers and 54 RBI in 105 games before the injury.

The Mets are 15-21 since he was placed on the disabled list.

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.