Arthur Rhodes

Arthur Rhodes’ one-year deal with Rangers includes vesting option for 2012

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Arthur Rhodes and the Rangers agreed to terms on a one-year contract last week, but the deal finally became official yesterday and the monetary details have been revealed.

Rhodes will make $3.9 million this season and the deal also includes a $4 million option for 2012 that vests if he appears in at least 62 games and is not on the disabled list when the season ends.

As if making the All-Star team for the first time at age 40 wasn’t enough, the $3.9 million Rhodes will get in 2011 is more than he’s earned in any season of his 19-year career. And he’s appeared in 61, 66, and 69 games during the past three years, so there’s a decent chance the $4 million option for 2012 will vest.

Rhodes had a 5.32 ERA in 2006 and missed all of 2007 following Tommy John elbow surgery, yet returned at age 38 to post a 2.32 ERA and 138/54 K/BB ratio in 144 innings over the next three seasons. He’ll serve as one of Neftali Feliz’s setup men.

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)
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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.