Juan Uribe returns to Dodgers with two-year deal worth around $15 million

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Fortunately for Dodgers fans, the idea of the team using Michael Young as their starting third baseman in 2014 was short-lived.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dodgers and Juan Uribe have reached agreement on a two-year deal to keep him in Los Angeles. No word yet on the terms involved.

Such a scenario would have been considered a longshot back in March, as Uribe contributed very little in the first two years of his three-year, $21 million deal with the Dodgers, but he came out of nowhere in 2013 with the best season of his career. The 34-year-old hit .278/.331/.438 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI over 132 games while playing excellent defense at third base. Well-liked in the clubhouse, Uribe also came up big during the postseason, including a go-ahead homer during the NLDS against the Braves that pushed the Dodgers to the NLCS.

The Marlins, White Sox and Rays were among the other teams who reportedly showed interest in Uribe this winter. The Dodgers were said to be considering Young as an alternative at third base if Uribe signed elsewhere, but they were able to convince him to stick around.

UPDATE: Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register confirms the report and adds that it’s worth around $15 million. The Dodgers were originally offering one year with an option, but pushed it to two years to get the deal done. .

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.