Report: "Brad Hawpe's days in Denver may be numbered"

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported yesterday that the Rockies have placed Brad Hawpe on waivers and now Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes that his “days in Denver may be numbered.”
Just a few weeks ago the Rockies were said to be telling teams that they couldn’t trade Hawpe, but now that they’re nine games out in the NL West and five games back in the Wild Card race that stance has apparently changed. According to Renck “the Rockies want to move Hawpe, who is owed about $2.2 million for the remainder of this season, so if he’s claimed they probably would try to work out a trade or simply let him go.”
His contract also has a $10 million team option or $500,000 buyout for 2011, so any team claiming Hawpe would risk being stuck with a $2.7 million bill. That seemingly makes it likely that he’ll pass through waivers unclaimed, which would allow the Rockies to shop him freely to any of the other 29 teams.
Hawpe has never been a good defensive corner outfielder and has struggled at the plate this season, hitting .252/.341/.430 with seven homers in 87 games, but he’s still relatively young at 31 and posted an OPS above .875 in each of the previous four seasons. And while Coors Field has certainly helped boost those numbers, he’s a career .274/.369/.470 hitter with an average of 24 homers per 550 at-bats on the road. If his nagging rib injury isn’t serious, he’d be a worthwhile stretch-run pickup for some team.

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.