Blue Jays' manager, GM disagree about Delgado

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Cito Gaston has said previously that he’d like the Blue Jays to bring back Carlos Delgado and MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports that the manager “spent time lobbying” for the move while appearing at a team function last night:

If there’s some way to bring Carlos back here, I’d love to see him back here, because he can do a lot of things as far as helping the young kids about knowing about hitting. We haven’t forgotten him. I’m a big Carlos fan. So it would be nice to have him back here and to see him also perhaps go into that Hall of Fame with a Blue Jays uniform on. That would be great.

Delgado would no doubt be open to rejoining the Blue Jays, especially now that the Mets are seemingly out of the picture, but the 38-year-old first baseman was limping around winter ball and general manager Alex Anthopoulos has made it pretty clear that he doesn’t agree with Gaston:

When you have a player of that magnitude and the success that [Delgago] has had you’re always going to talk about it and see, “Is there a scenario? Is there a potential fit?” As we sit here today, we’ve got Lyle Overbay at first base and our priority would be to have Adam Lind as more of a DH. What we’re trying to do is always try to build as competitive a team as we can, but one that will also not hinder or block or impede upon a young player that we think is going to be a part of the core.

Anthopoulos was perfectly willing to admit that the Blue Jays may have some interest in Johnny Damon, so the downplaying of a potential Delgado reunion isn’t just an example of a GM being coy. With that said, it’ll be interesting to see if Gaston can change his mind between now and spring training because at this point it looks like Delgado might be available to anyone willing to offer a minor-league deal.

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.