Busy White Sox re-sign Mark Kotsay for one year, $1.5 million

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General manager Ken Williams has been busy, as usual.
In addition to reportedly acquiring Mark Teahen from the Royals for Chris Getz and Josh Fields, the White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ve re-signed Mark Kotsay to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.
Acquired from the Red Sox for Brian Anderson in late July, the 33-year-old Kotsay hit .292/.349/.434 in 127 plate appearances for the White Sox while drawing starts at first base and all three outfield spots.
Kotsay figures to be used in a similar capacity in 2010, likely serving as the team’s fourth outfielder, backup first baseman, and left-handed bat off the bench, but his exact role depends on the other moves that Williams has up his sleeve this offseason. Kotsay has struggled to stay healthy and is no longer capable of regularly playing center field defensively, but he’s a useful piece to have around and should be able to hit .275 or so with a decent on-base percentage and minimal power.

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.