Now that the Cliff Lee shoe has dropped, everyone is looking at cheaper, less-already-signed-by-other-teams-this-winter pitchers. Jon Paul Morosi reports that one of the more sought-after of that breed is the Indians’ Fausto Carmona:
One major-league source with close knowledge of Carmona’s market said the Indians aren’t eager to move him but are in a “listen and explore” mode because of the heavy interest following the Cliff Lee signing.
Carmona had that monster 2007 and then spent two years in the woods. It was a nice quiet bounce back season last year, however, in that he reduced his walks and allowed fewer homers than he had in previous seasons.
Still, I have a hard time seeing Cleveland giving up Carmona given that he has a pretty team-friendly contract (he’s owed $6.1 million next year and has team options for $7 million, $9 million and $12 million in 2012-14). It’s probably too much to expect that he’ll return to 2007 form, but even if he just builds on what he did last season in a modest fashion, he’s pretty valuable and is worth having around for at least the next three years, and maybe even that third option year.
But yeah: I totally see why he would be sought-after by someone looking for starting pitching.
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.