The market for relievers is "absolutely terrible"

4 Comments

That’s what Buster Olney says one of his “talent evaluator” sources is saying.  If it’s true it might explain things like the Reds exhuming the corpse of Jason Isringhausen for a tryout and the Mets giving Oliver Perez a job as a lefty specialist.

Still, there are some relievers out there who may be worth a flier.  I haven’t heard any rumors about him — and God knows he’s burned people in the past — but Kyle Farnsworth is a putting up a quietly excellent season.  As Aaron noted earlier today, Trevor Hoffman has turned things around of late and may be an intriguing option. We talked about Scott Downs earlier today.

Which is not to say that there’s a bumper crop of good relievers or anything, but that’s never the case, is it?  Contenders are always looking for bullpen arms, and many of the most useful bullpen arms are either rebound jobs whose overall numbers don’t look good or pitchers who — at one time or another — burned someone. Such is the nature of bullpen help.  

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)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
1 Comment

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

31 Comments

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.