The Red Sox "putting on a full court press" for Halladay

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And now for your daily Roy Halladay rumor. This one, from Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the Daily News, sounds a bit bolder than your usual “Team X may be considering possibly maybe potentially trading for Roy Halladay” stuff:

The Red Sox are “putting on a full-court press” to acquire Roy Halladay, according to a source, and are hoping to add the former Cy Young winner to the top of their rotation to go with Josh Beckett and Jon Lester.

“They would love to get it wrapped up before the winter meetings (beginning Dec. 7),” the source said of the Red Sox, who made a big push to deal for Halladay last summer.

The Red Sox package for Halladay would likely start with Clay Buchholz and would possibly include pitching/shortstop prospect Casey Kelly.

The Sox landing Halladay in the next week would shake the Yankees the hell out of their “we’re gonna wait and see” approach, wouldn’t it?  I mean, if that trade gets made, is there any chance in the world that Brian Cashman doesn’t immediately call John Lackey’s agent and offer him a gabillion dollars?

I mean, that would be like the Kaiser not doing anything after the Royal Navy built the HMS Dreadnought.  It would be like Kennedy letting the Russians keep their missiles in Cuba back in ’62. It would be like Walter not responding when the Nihilists peed on The Dude’s rug.  If the Red Sox trade for Halladay, they’ll be drawing a line in the sand, Dude, and such aggression can not be allowed to stand.

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.