Rangers acquire Bengie Molina for Chris Ray and PTBNL

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10:08 PM:  Scott Boeck of USA Today reports that the deal is done, and the Giants will receiver reliever Chris Ray and a player to be named later for the veteran Molina.  Let the Buster Posey era begin.

9:12 PM:  Now Morosi says that the Giants will not be getting either Davis or Saltalamacchia in the deal.  So, uh, scratch that thought.

8:33 PM:  Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Giants and Rangers are working toward a deal that would land veteran catcher Bengie Molina in Texas.  According to Morosi’s source, the trade could be finalized within the next 24 hours.

Molina is off to a disappointing start this season in San Francisco with a .257/.312/.332 batting line, three home runs and 17 RBI over 202 at-bats.  His power would be better showcased in the Rangers’ cozy ballpark and moving him would allow the Giants to free up playing time for impressive youngster Buster Posey.

Morosi has been given no indication as to who the Giants might be targeting from Texas, but  first basemen Chris Davis and Jarrod Saltalamacchia have been mentioned as possible trade pieces and either would make sense.

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.