The Twins make an offer to Jarrod Washburn

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“Jarrod Washburn is the epitome of a bad free-agent target.”

Aaron Gleeman, December 2, 2009

You may wonder why Aaron has been a bit quiet this week. I’m no good at keeping secrets, so I may as well just come out with it: Aaron is currently undergoing intense psychiatric counseling following multiple suicide attempts brought on by the Twins doing things like making offers to Jarrod Washburn instead of getting in on Adrian Beltre or a serviceable second baseman who may actually help them win the Central in 2010.  But hey, if you have the opportunity to pay $7 million or so to a guy like Washburn, you simply can’t pass up that deal.

As Aaron noted last month, Washburn went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in eight starts following the trade to the Tigers,
allowing 35 runs in 43 innings before missing the final three weeks
with a knee injury that required offseason surgery.  He’s a smoke and mirrors pitcher who benefited from a big ballpark and an outrageously good set of outfielders in Seattle the first part of last year.  Without those things, he was utterly exposed.

The Tigers trading for him last year did not help them win the division.  The Twins signing him this year, however, may allow Detroit to do just that.

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)
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.