karson whitson

Why did No. 9 pick Karsten Whitson turn down $2.1 million from the Padres?

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Kendall Rogers of Yahoo! Sports has an interesting article about Karsten Whitson, a right-handed pitcher who was the ninth overall pick in June’s draft and turned down a $2.1 million offer to sign with the Padres in order to attend the University of Florida.

The short version is that Whitson questioned whether he was truly ready to be a professional baseball player and also wanted the college experience at Florida. The long version is much more complicated than that and definitely worth reading.

From a financial standpoint I think it’s tough to argue that Whitson didn’t make a mistake. His odds of getting more than $2.1 million when eligible to be drafted again in 2013 are significantly lower than his odds of getting less than $2.1 million, and in the meantime there’s always the risk of serious injury or poor performance that could leave him with relatively little.

From a personal standpoint it’s a lot tougher to pass judgment, particularly since–based on what he told Rogers, at least–Whitson seems very pleased with his decisions so far.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.