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Bobby Valentine rumored to be a finalist for Brewers manager

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Bobby Valentine may not end up with a managerial job at all this winter, but he’s darn sure going to be rumored for all of them.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com “keeps hearing” that Bobby V is a finalist to be the Brewers’ next manager.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported on Saturday that the Brewers were considering four candidates for the job, but he was only able to confirm former Diamondbacks and Mariners manager Bob Melvin and White Sox bench coach Joey Cora. So far, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin has tried to keep the whole process under wraps. Haudricourt guessed that Angels bench coach Ron Roenicke was the third candidate for the job, so perhaps Valentine is the fourth.

Milwaukee obviously presents a better chance of winning than Seattle, for example, at least in the short-term, but Rosenthal appears skeptical about whether the Brewers will be able to afford Valentine and/or if he would even be willing to accept the position. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Valentine enjoyed meeting with the Brewers’ people, but said that he didn’t expect to get the job.

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.