Remember how Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com wondered out loud why the Tigers would push back Rick Porcello’s start with Triple-A Toledo, suggesting it could be trade-related? Yeah, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Tigers manager Jim Leyland didn’t take too kindly to that.
“There’s a rumor going around, I don’t know if anybody’s read it, about
Rick Porcello being traded,” Leyland said. “I want to make this
perfectly clear: That is a blatant lie. I don’t even know where it came
from. That’s a blatant lie and it’s irresponsible journalism. There’s not
a chance that Rick Porcello is going to be traded. That’s a lie. That’s
not even speculation. That’s a total lie. …
Ouch. You’re still okay in our book, Morosi.
Perhaps most importantly, Leyland also said that Porcello will return to the big leagues for next weekend’s series against the Indians. I don’t want Leyland to get mad at me by speculating, but the fact that the Tigers requested Porcello’s next start be pushed back by a day may have something to do with that.
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.