Resolved: the closer it gets to last call, the more attractive that guy at the end of the bar appears to be (or that girl, depending on your predilections). Brandon Webb and his wonky shoulder are apparently counting on that:
According to a baseball source, Washington continues to be in the mix to acquire right-hander Brandon Webb. The source said Webb is not in a hurry to make a decision.
Chien Ming-Wang just got a $1 million contract with $5 million in potential incentives. And of course last year Ben Sheets got $8 million. Sheets waited until the end of January to sign. The longer Webb waits, the better he will look to pitching-desperate teams.
But even if there isn’t a sucker as big as the A’s were for Sheets last year, I’d say there is less clarity about how to weigh — contractually speaking — the risk of signing injured pitchers than there is about anything else out there. Webb can probably use that to his advantage.
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.