Kansas City's Soria and Pena celebrate after the Royals' win over Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

How do you market the Royals?

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The biggest star on the Kansas City Royals was Zack Greinke. With him gone, James Dornbrook of KC Biz Beat wonders how the team will go about marketing itself.  He asked Royals spokesman Toby Cook. The response:

Cook said that right now, the Royals will focus on marketing the ball park and slowly introduce the minor-league players who are going to make up the core of the team from mid-2011 through the next few years.

“With the fact that we’re about to be named as having the No. 1 minor-league baseball system in all of baseball and that this trade made us even stronger, we feel like we can encourage our fan base and season-ticket holders that things are actually better now with our process of building,”

I don’t know much about marketing so maybe I’m out to lunch, but you’d think that Joakim Soria’s name would be mentioned in this kind of article at least once. I mean, he’s only one of the best closers in baseball.

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.