Paul Konerko

The White Sox will have a chance to match any offers for Konerko

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Doug Padilla has a story over at ESPN Chicago talking up the close relationship between Paul Konerko and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.  The upshot for our purposes: that relationship has made it so that Konerko has agreed to come back to Reinsdorf with whatever offers he gets while out on the market and will give the Sox the chance to match it.

Refreshing, I think, in that as Padilla notes, this isn’t common. And when it does happen, it often involves some gamesmanship (“Oh yeah, the Yankees offered me, um 200 BILLION dollars! Yeah, that’s the ticket . . .”).  That doesn’t seem to be the case here.

But even if it was, can we picture Konerko going elsewhere? It’s been 500 years since he was a Dodgers prospect, and if any of you can remember him in a Reds uniform, you have a better memory than I do. And that’s before even getting into the fact that the Sox need his offense and need it badly.

Trust or no trust — and don’t get me wrong, it’s good to see — I think Konerko and the Sox need each other and will still be together when the winter turns to spring.

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.