UPDATE: Scratch that: I misinterpreted Sherman’s tweet, which read as follows:
All Ollie Perez stories must cease now until one begins: The #Mets today released Ollie Perez … #notinteresting
Sorry for the confusion, but I read that as a declarative sentence: “The Mets today released Ollie Perez.” I thought the “until one begins” part meant “until there’s new news, because he’s gone now.” Yes, I see now that he was speaking hypothetically. Yes, I’d like a do-over on this one. Yes, speed kills sometimes. Ugh.
8:27 AM: As spring training officially opens today, I think everyone was getting ready to start writing the “Oliver Perez is fighting for a job” story. That may now be moot, as Joel Sherman just tweeted that the Mets released Perez.
We’ll update when more info comes in — Sherman’s tweet was a tad cryptic — but if Perez was actually released, Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson just saved themselves a month’s worth of questions about the guy. He can’t start anymore. He got knocked around the Mexican league this winter. His only hope was to catch on as a lefty specialist, but I don’t think anyone was at all confident that he could.
If Perez is gone, it’s good riddance to perhaps the worst contract Omar Minaya ever gave out. And it’s also good day to a new approach in Mets land: understanding sunk costs and disposing of them in the best way possible.
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.