Alex Gordon named Hitter of the Week at Triple-A

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Demoted to the minors earlier this month after the Royals gave him all of 31 at-bats to get back on track from a broken thumb, Alex Gordon was named Pacific Coast League Hitter of the Week for predictably knocking around Triple-A pitchers.
Gordon is hitting .362 with a .524 on-base percentage and .766 slugging percentage in 17 games at Triple-A, smacking five homers and four doubles in 47 at-bats with as many walks as strikeouts. He’s also said to be taking well to the transition from third base to left field, which will hopefully speed up the timetable for Gordon’s return to Kansas City.
If the Royals were smart they’d already be playing Kila Ka’aihue at designated hitter rather than 34-year-old Jose Guillen (who’s hitting .220 with a .626 OPS in his last 30 games) and would install Gordon as the new starting left fielder over 34-year-old Scott Podsednik (and his .401 slugging percentage) as soon as his crash course in outfield defense had him looking passable out there.
Veteran mediocrity on a last-place team has little value to begin with, but when that veteran mediocrity is blocking younger, potentially much better players … well, then you have the Royals.

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.