The Diamondbacks are sellers

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The Diamondbacks have come to grips with the fact that they aren’t very good, which means that it’s selling time in Arizona:

“It’s the middle of June and we’re 10 games under .500, so I think
there’s a reality as far as the types of discussions we have had and
will have with other clubs,” Byrnes said . . .

. . . To this point, Byrnes has given no indication that he is
planning a major overhaul. So, for now, if the team makes a move, look
for it to be with one of the veterans who are in the final year of
their contracts. Pitchers Doug Davis and Jon Garland fit that profile,
as does second baseman Felipe Lopez. The club would certainly like to
deal Chad Tracy if he is able to get back to being healthy and show the
form he had the first couple of weeks of the season.

Davis is useful and is having a good season. Garland is useful, but not
having a particularly good season. Still, both are the types of
pitchers whose value historically peaks around the trade deadline for
reasons that have more to do with the desperation of contenders than
their inherent worth. I’m not smelling that same kind of desperation
this year — at least not yet — but it’s not inconceivable that the
Dbacks could get something valuable for those guys.

Chad Tracy? He of the .203/.262/.373 line and the tender oblique? I have this feeling he’s not going anywhere.

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.