Joaquin Benoit opened the free agent market by signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Tigers and various other relievers are reportedly shopping for three-year contracts as well, so Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals “are now open to trading” Robinson Tejeda.
Dutton notes that general manager Dayton Moore has been open to trading setup men in the past, parting with Ramon Ramirez and Leo Nunez two offseasons ago, and is willing to deal Tejeda now because his value will never be higher given the market for relievers.
After years of splitting time between the rotation and bullpen Tejeda was a full-time reliever for the first time this season, posting a 3.54 ERA and 56/26 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. He has a 4.16 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 167 career innings as a reliever, has always possessed top-notch raw stuff with a hard fastball-slider combo and a quality changeup, and figures to make around $2 million in 2011 via arbitration.
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.
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.