Just sayin: Scott Rolen

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Last weekend in this space, I had a pretty hard time advocating the Reds going after 34-year-old oft-injured third baseman Scott Rolen. Could you blame me?

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Games played:

2005- 56
2006 – 142
2007- 112
2008 – 115

That’s an average of 106 games played.

To his credit, Rolen has put together a nice comeback season, hitting
.314/.366/.468 with eight homers and 43 RBI. It was enough for Walt
Jocketty, his former general manager in St. Louis, to bring him to
Cincinnati in exchange for third baseman Edwin Encarnacion along with
prospects Josh Roenicke and Zach Stewart.

The fact that Rolen is already out of action on Monday after getting
hit by a pitch on Sunday is purely coincidental to my original point.
Worse yet, Walt Jocketty sold low on Encarnacion, a 26-year-old slugger
who is batting .205/.324/.361 with five homers an 16 RBI in an injury
plagued season. Teams like Cincinnati, by all accounts out of the race,
should be buying low on talents like Encarnacion, not buying high on
deteriorating players like Rolen.

Just sayin, Cincinnati.

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.