Padres change tune, ink Correia to one-year deal

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Earlier this week Kevin Correia said that he expected to be either traded or non-tendered by the Padres because they didn’t want to risk the possibility that he’d be awarded a big raise via arbitration, but the two sides have agreed to a one-year, $3.6 million deal just hours before the midnight deadline.
Correia earned around $1 million in 2009 while going 12-11 with a 3.91 ERA in 33 starts and previously classified the Padres’ contract offers as “obviously below the arbitration value.” If that’s the case then his agent did well in eleventh-hour negotiating, because $3.6 million is arguably more than he could have been expected to receive by going through the arbitration process.
Apparently the Padres were primarily scared of Correia being awarded a huge sum or simply changed their minds about his value for 2010. Whatever the case he’ll be eligible for free agency next offseason and continuing to call Petco Park home will help him hit the open market with his value as high as possible. Correia is little more than a fourth or fifth starter, but the majors’ most pitcher-friendly ballpark helped his raw numbers look more like they came from a No. 2 or No. 3 guy.

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.