Phillies interested in reunion with Ryan Madson

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Ryan Madson has signed two sizable contracts with two different teams since leaving Philadelphia as a free agent after the 2011 season, but he’s yet to throw a pitch in a big-league game because of elbow problems. And now he might be returning to the Phillies.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that the Phillies are interested in a reunion with Madson and the right-hander “has some interest in rejoining the Phillies.” Salisbury suggests that it would have to be a minor-league deal with a chance to win a bullpen job during spring training, but the odds of Madson securing a guaranteed contract anywhere else at this point seem pretty slim.

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.