Bill Baer of Baseball Daily Digest thinks it was pretty damn bad:
In essence, the Angels have swapped gimpy designated hitters,
downgraded from Lackey to Piniero, lost Figgins and gained Rodney.
Meanwhile, Roy Halladay went to Philadelphia, Cliff Lee went to
Seattle, and Aroldis Chapman went to Cincinnati. The Angels wanted an
ace pitcher and they ended up with Joel Piniero. It’s the kind of
dream/reality contrast one would expect to find with the New York Mets,
not the L.A. Angels.
I think going from Guerrero to Matsui at DH was an upgrade, and I’m not at all certain that going from Lackey to Piniero will be as much of a falloff as some think, but yeah, I suppose it’s been a rough winter for the Angels. Less so because of what they did themselves and more so because of what the Mariners did.
This doesn’t make them the Mets. But in my mind it makes them more likely to be battling the Red Sox, Rays, and Rangers for the wild card than to be battling the Mariners for the division crown.
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.