The Reds sign Carlos Marmol to a minor league deal

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The Marlins released Carlos Marmol a week or so ago after he posted an 8.10 ERA and walked ten guys in 13 innings while losing three games across 15 appearances. Now someone else has taken a chance on him: the Reds, who Jon Heyman reports have signed Marmol to a minor league deal.

Marmol is just 31, but his downward trajectory has been steep. His control stinks so badly that, in order to be effective, he basically has to throw the ball by everyone and rack up the strikeouts. He still does that well by most guys’ standards, but not at the level he needs to be doing it. His yearly strikeouts per nine innings have dropped from 16.0 to 12.0 to 11.7 to 10.8 to 9.5 since 2010.

No risk here for Cincinnati, but little chance of reward either.

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.