Brandon Beachy and the Braves avoid arbitration

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The Atlanta Braves and starter Brandon Beachy avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.45 million contract today. Not a bad raise over his $510K salary last season.

Of course it could have been so much more by now, except Beachy’s career was interrupted by Tommy John surgery in June 2012 and only made five starts in 2013. If he can recapture his pre-surgery form, he stands to make much more next year.

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.