Clay Buchholz is not in the best shape of his life

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Tweet from WEEI’s Chad Rob Bradford, who is on the ground at Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers this morning:


Buchholz at 198 pounds after pitching at 185 last year.

Somebody didn’t get the “best shape of his life” memo!

In other news, I have come to view Twitter as positively essential to doing this here job. Just about anything worth knowing in baseball gets tweeted first these days, so I’m on Twitter all day listening to what baseball people — writers, players, agents, whoever — have to say. 

But while Twitter is really valuable, it does have one problem: when nothing is really going on, the stuff that is just barely news gets really, really overplayed.  Take this morning for example, when we learned the following from various Boston writers:

That’s all in less than an hour.  By the end of the day I fully expect to learn that some other Red Sox players have shown up where they’re supposed to be and have begun to do things like throw baseballs to one another.  I know it’s Boston, and Sox fans are crazy, and they want to hear any little thing that happens, but if that level of coverage is required to keep the masses happy, the masses can go get bent.

In other other news, I’m going to be doing a little spring training trip in early March, and when I’m there I’m going to tweet my butt off.  Excpet when I do it, I’m going to make it interesting. Stuff like “Pedroia just walked by; told me Big Papi lost an arm in a thresher accident last night” and “Sabathia throwing a bullpen session; new eephus pitch looks good.”

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.