I hope Papelbon is happy. Rosenthal:
Billy Wagner is staying with the Mets. He will invoke his no-trade clause rather than accept a deal to the Red Sox, according to a major-league source.
The Sox said that they wouldn’t exercise his option, but would make no guarantees regarding offering him arbitration, which would make him a somewhat less desirable free agent. This part is understandable on some level, it kind of sits with me wrong:
Wagner, coming off Tommy John surgery, also was concerned about his health, a second source said. “It’s not about the option or arbitration. It’s about his desire to end the year healthy for the future,” the source said. “He
feels he has a better chance lasting a month in a less competitive
environment than perhaps two months in a pennant race and playoffs.”
Given how recent his surgery was this is understandable on some level. But there aren’t any guarantees in life, especially for a 38 year-old pitcher. You think he’d want another shot at the postseason.
And really, is staying with the Mets the best thing for someone who cares about his health? The way they’re going, I got even odds on them losing someone to the DL for dengue fever before the year is out.
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.
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.