The Marlins are looking for a place to play the Mariners next year

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The Marlins and Mariners are set to play an interleague series next year, and Florida is supposed to the home team. But thanks to U2’s tour — man, Bono ruins everything, at least since “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” — Pro Player Robbie Sun Life Stadipark will be occupied.  Options:

  • Play in Puerto Rico: Pro: there will still be plenty of humidty! Con: Hiram Bithorn stadium isn’t exactly ideal as a major league facility anymore — one Mets writer said that parts of the clubhouse ceiling were falling in during the Mets-Marlins series there this year.
  • Play in Vancouver: Pro: Sure, it’s closer to home for the Mariners than the Marlins, but both teams are set to head back west after their series anyway, so maybe this makes travel easier. Con: the dome in Vancouver — which I had not realized was built to attract a major league team until I read the linked article — is undergoing renovations and the existing minor league ballpark only holds 7,000. The Marlins are used to that, but the Mariners may not like it.
  • Play in Seattle: Pro: It’s a major league ballpark. Con: This takes a home series away from the Marlins. Pro: it was good enough for the Blue Jays and Phillies this season, so it’s not unprecedented.

My guess is that they just play in Seattle. Because really: if you cut Loria a check of sufficient size he’d sign off on anything

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.