Twins among teams interested in Johan Santana

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According to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins remain interested in a reunion with free agent left-handed starter Johan Santana but are one of only several major league teams currently in the running for his services.

“We talked (Monday) and I’ll see,” Twins assistant GM Rob Antony told the Star-Tribune about a chat with Santana’s agent, Peter Greenberg. “I haven’t heard back from him. I expressed where we are at. He said, ‘I’ll talk to Johan and we will get back.'”

Santana sat out the entire 2013 season after undergoing surgery in April for a re-tear of his left shoulder capsule. He has thrown off a mound twice this month as part of his ongoing rehabilitation process and is aiming to be ready for live major league action sometime around late May or early June.

Santana spent the first eight years of his career in Minnesota, posting a sensational 3.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 9.5 K/9 in 1,308 2/3 innings. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2004 and 2006.

Despite the healthy amount of interest, Santana will likely have to settle for a minor league deal.

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.