Marlins acquire reliever Bryan Morris from Pirates for 39th overall pick in this week’s draft

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From Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel comes word that the Marlins have acquired right-handed reliever Bryan Morris from the Pirates in exchange for their competitive balance pick in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft, which gets underway this Thursday evening. It’s the 39th overall selection.

Morris owns a decent 3.46 ERA in 93 2/3 career innings (81 appearances) at the major league level, but he’s issued 42 walks alongside 57 strikeouts.

The 27-year-old was selected 26th overall by the Pirates in 2006, so this is sort of like a do-over.

To clear a roster spot, the Marlins transferred Jose Fernandez (elbow) to the 60-day disabled list.

Miami is off to a surprising 28-27 start with the best run differential (+19)  in the National League East.

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.