Brian Cashman on Joe Girardi: “We’re going to give him reason to stay”

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As soon as the Cubs fired manager Dale Sveum the speculation about Joe Girardi coming to Chicago started to intensify, but Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is not going to let him leave without a fight.

Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that he met with Girardi on Monday and plans to meet with Girardi’s agent on Wednesday, adding that contract negotiations have begun.

Cashman declined to say whether the Cubs had requested permission to speak to Girardi, although considering his contract is up at some point very soon they won’t even need to do so. Cashman did say: “I think he likes it here. We’re going to give him reason to stay.”

In other words, expect an offer that would significantly top the three-year, $9 million contract Girardi just completed. Of course, the Cubs (or another team) would no doubt be offering a big contract too, so Girardi’s decision may hinge on which organization he thinks is in better shape for the next 3-5 years.

Jonny Venters is back in the majors

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The Rays announced on Wednesday that the club purchased the contract of lefty reliever Jonny Venters from Triple-A Durham. The 33-year-old hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 due to a continuous battle with arm injuries. The Rays note that he has undergone two and a half Tommy John surgeries, which is a number that seems to be in dispute.

Venters signed a minor league contract with the Rays in December. With Durham so far this season, he gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and five walks with six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.

Before the injuries, Venters was among the best relievers in 2010-11. In those two seasons, he posted a combined 1.89 ERA with 189 strikeouts and 82 walks in 171 innings.