Carlos Beltran quietly having a very productive September

7 Comments

Carlos Beltran missed the entire first half of the season and then struggled after finally returning from knee surgery in mid-July, hitting just .218 with a .660 OPS through 43 games. That will keep his overall season totals looking ugly no matter how well Beltran plays in September, but he’s quietly having a very solid month.
Beltran went 3-for-5 with a homer and a triple last night, and is now hitting .308/.343/.554 with three homers and eight total extra-base hits in 17 games this month. Those numbers are pretty similar to what Beltran did in his first five seasons with the Mets, when he batted .281/.368/.505 in 677 total games.
Obviously one good 17-game stretch doesn’t mean much, but it makes sense that Beltran would show improvement the further removed he is from surgery and the more at-bats he gets against big-league pitching. And finishing on a high note could be very important if the Mets have any hopes of trading him this offseason. He’s owed $18.5 million in 2011.

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

35 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.