Yanks first to offer streaming in-market

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Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports
that the Yankees will be the first team to offer streaming of games
within their home market. The deal reached between the YES Network and
Major League Baseball Advanced Media will let fans in the New York
media market buy a subscription to Yankees games that they can stream
on laptops, personal computers or other devices in the office or the
home. Fans can expect to see similar models in other media markets
before long.

Until now, MLB.tv has limited access of their subscribers to
out-of-market games in order to protect the rights of regional sports
networks and cable companies. It’s likely to be a huge boon for YES, as
the New York market expands to New Jersey, Connecticut and even parts
of Pennsylvania.

The only annoying catch is that those who purchase the in-market
subscription must also be subscribers of the expanded basic service on
Cablevision that includes YES Network. The agreement certainly marks
progress, as an increasingly mobile society would love the option to
watch a Yankees game on their wireless internet connection wherever
they may roam.

However, one of the great things about MLB.tv is the ability to have it
without also having to purchase a cable subscription. I believe and
hope it won’t be long before these networks bypass the cable companies
and offer these sorts of subscriptions directly to the fans. They can
only delay progress for so long.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.