Twins “really want to move” Josh Willingham

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According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com the Twins “really want to move” left fielder Josh Willingham before Thursday’s trade deadline, but a source tells him “I don’t think they’re getting any bites.”

Which makes sense, because while the Twins may have been able to cash in Willingham for a solid return in 2012 following his career-year now his value is at an all-time low. He’s a struggling 35-year-old impending free agent who’s looked so washed up of late that he might not even have a place in the Twins’ lineup.

He can still draw walks and smack the occasional homer, but Willingham has zero business seeing the field defensively and has been one of the worst hitters in baseball since mid-June. Going back even further, since the beginning of last season he’s hit just .213 with a .385 slugging percentage in 169 games.

He has $3 million remaining on a three-year, $21 million deal and some team may view him as a decent fallback option as a platoon left fielder or designated hitter, but that’s about it.

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.