White Sox sign Jose Quintana to long-term extension

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It’s safe to say the White Sox aren’t that worried about Jose Quintana’s rough spring training.

Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com reports that the left-hander has agreed to a five-year, $26.5 million contract with the White Sox, which includes team options for 2019 and 2020. (Hayes notes that it will only be worth $21.5 million if he doesn’t qualify for “Super Two” arbitration status.)

Quintana is entering his third full season in the majors, so he was already under team control through 2018. Essentially this deal pre-pays for his arbitration seasons and, as a benefit of Chicago taking that risk, gives the White Sox the ability to buy out his first two years of free agency for $10.5 million and $11.5 million.

Signed by the White Sox in 2012 after leaving the Yankees as a minor-league free agent, Quintana has established himself as one of the best young southpaws in baseball with a 3.61 ERA and 245/98 K/BB ratio in 336 career innings through age 24. Last season he started 33 games and logged 200 innings, upping his strikeout rate and thriving despite being a fly-ball pitcher in a homer-inflating home ballpark.

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.