Chris Dickerson out at least four weeks after hand surgery

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Chris Dickerson headshot.jpgChris Dickerson underwent surgery to remove the broken hook on the hamate bone in his right hand and arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right wrist on Monday, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. He’s expected to miss four to six weeks.

It doesn’t figure to be a huge loss for the Reds anyway, since Dickerson was batting just .227/.244/.295 with a 19/1 K/BB ratio over his first 44 at-bats. Drew Stubbs hasn’t been anything worth writing home about either, but the former first-round pick will at least get a chance to start in center field on regular basis with Dickerson on the shelf for an extended period of time. Right on key, Stubbs led off Monday’s game against Oliver Perez and the Mets with a home run.

Outfielder Chris Heisey was recalled from Triple-A Louisville when Dickerson was placed on the disabled list last week, but he didn’t make his major league debut until tonight, as Dusty Baker gave Jay Bruce a night off. Heisey, 25, improved his stock dramatically last season by batting .314/.379/.521 with 22 homers and 77 RBI between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville. He was batting .241/.307/.430 with four homers and 13 RBI with Louisville to begin this season.

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.