In the same article that brought us the Chapman report comes word that the it’s looking increasingly unlikely that the Marlins are going to be able to move Dan Uggla. Uggla is arbitration eligible, of course, and as Juan Rodriguez puts it, he’ll “take a huge bite out of
what is expected to be a $40 million payroll.” Not moving Uggla may cause them to trade Jorge Cantu instead.
Not that anyone should have any sympathy for the Marlins. They just got a near billion dollar subsidy from local taxpayers to go with the annual subsidy they get from the other 29 teams in Major League Baseball. As such, the fact that they want to keep their payroll at $40 million — while not a crime exactly — is definitely some sort of civil offense.
Hey Jeff Loria: You may not catch the Phillies, but the wild card race is wide open. You have fans and constituents who just took a major financial gamble on you during the height of the worst recession in modern memory. Maybe it’s worth cutting into that famous profitability of yours and actually try to win some ballgames instead of sitting on your pile of lucre.
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.