Dick Kaegel of MLB.com reports that the Royals haven’t ruled out re-signing Bruce Chen:
With Carl Pavano apparently heading back to the Twins, the thin free-agent market still includes Kevin Millwood, linked earlier with the Royals, and their top winner from last year, lefty Bruce Chen. Millwood’s name doesn’t stir much response from Moore.
What about Chen?
“We’re still open-minded with that. He performed very well with us last year and he showed us what he had, and we’ve got a comfort level there,” Moore said.
Chen’s walk rate and strikeout rates were basically the same in 2010 as they were during his truly awful previous few seasons. He allowed a couple fewer hits a game, which could be a function of random chance. Still, for the Royals he’s the devil they know versus a lot of devils they don’t know, and given how bad their pitching looks to be at the moment, you figure it can’t hurt to bring him back.
I am rather surprised at Moore’s apparent lack of interest in Kevin Millwood. Hello! Former Brave! I thought that was the sort of thing he got off on.
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.