Francoeur worthy of a long-term deal?

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If Marty Noble’s awkward “Open letter to Citi Field” wasn’t enough to convince you that he needs this season to end as much as the rest of us, this might:



The Mets believe Francoeur will look sharp in their 2010 uni, so much
so that they are inclined to approach him about signing him to a
three-year contract that would allow him to become a big league Beau
Brummel, if he so chose. They like what they have seen of him in and
out of uniform — from his spirited demeanor to his nuclear arm to the
two doubles he produced Saturday afternoon in their victory against the
Nationals.




And what’s not to like from the Mets’ perspective? Francoeur now has
driven in 34 runs in his 255 plate appearances with the Mets, more than
any Mets player in the same period — Daniel Murphy is second with 31
— and one less than he had driven in 324 plate appearances with the
Braves. Moreover, he has batted .314, scored 30 runs, reduced his rate
of strikeouts, played right field well, continued to intimidate
third-base coaches and baserunners, played hurt and and hit into an
unassisted triple play.




You saved yourself at the end there,
Marty, but I think it’s high time to come home. Anything looks good in
comparison to Ramon Martinez. Francoeur has played well enough be
offered arbitration, but inking him to a long-term deal would be just
as reckless as the Oliver Perez signing.

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.