The Rays are "kicking the tires" on Zack Greinke? OK, sure.

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It’s crazy season, and when crazy season happens it actually helps for someone to throw a completely nuts rumor out there just to give us a nice break from actually thinking about deals. To make us laugh. To make us ponder the very ridiculousness of the trade deadline itself.  Here’s the leader in the clubhouse for the most off-the-wall thing thrown out there thus far:


Just
heard this: Rays “kicking the tires” of Royals pitcher Zach
Greinke…Would take a large ransom, but the Rays have pieces to do it

That’s from Tom Krasniqi of Bright House Sports Network down in Tampa. I guess how much credence you give that sort of thing has everything to do with what the definition of “kicking the tires” is.

Does that mean a couple of guys in the Rays’ front office said “man, it would be nice to have Greinke” while ordering their fourth beer at last night’s happy hour?  Does it mean people actually think it could happen? If I called the Art Institute of Chicago and asked them to give me Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks” in exchange for my picture my son did, am I “kicking the tires on ‘Nighthawks.'” I really have no idea.

All I do know is that while the Royals may very well trade for Jeff Francoeur because they just can’t help themselves, even they aren’t dumb enough to trade Zack Greinke.

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
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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.