Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle hears that the Giants are “focusing on” acquiring Corey Hart from the Brewers.
Just yesterday, Schulman told us that Giants general manager Brian Sabean and one of his top scouts Lee Elder were in Milwaukee, “perhaps scouting trade targets Corey Hart, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.” With the other two a relative pipe dream, it’s no surprise to learn that Hart is their primary and realistic target.
Tonight, Schulman writes that the Giants “would love” to have Hart in their outfield, but are unsure whether the Brewers have decided to trade him or not. The Brewers are currently 37-46, on the fringes of contention in the National League. Also, the 28-year-old outfielder is under team control for one more season.
Hart, 28, enters play Tuesday batting .288/.350/.573 over his first 281 at-bats this season. The two-time All-Star currently ranks third in the National League with 19 homers, second with 61 RBI and eighth with a 923 OPS.
Naturally, he won’t come cheap. For what it’s worth, Schulman believes Hart would cost (Jonathan) Sanchez plus another piece. That would be quite a nice get for someone who was essentially a platoon player at the start of the season.
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.
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.