UPDATE: Jake Arrieta to have bone spur removed Wednesday

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UPDATE: Arrieta tells Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com that he is tentatively scheduled to have the bone spur removed on Wednesday. It’s a relatively minor procedure that isn’t expected to have any impact on his availability for next season.

5:15 PM: According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said that rookie right-hander Jake Arrieta has been shut down for the rest of the season as a precaution.

Arrieta was “a little tight” after his last start on Tuesday, according to Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com, which prompted an MRI earlier today. The exam revealed a bone spur in Arrieta’s right elbow, though the Orioles have known about it for quite some time now. It’s always possible that he could undergo a procedure in order to have it removed, but the team hasn’t announced any plans to so.

Arrieta wraps up his rookie season at 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA and a 52/46 K/BB over 18 starts. The 24-year-old right-hander has amassed 173 1/3 innings between the majors and minors this season, 22 1/3 more than his previous career-high between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk last season, so he was pretty close to being shut down anyway. He’ll enter spring training next season with a legitimate shot to make the starting rotation.

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.