Michael Young ap

The Rangers are still looking to deal Michael Young

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Buster Olney has been the primary rumor-mongerer regarding Michael Young. Even as reporters with Rockies sources were saying there was nothing doing between Texas and Colorado, Olney reported otherwise.  He’s also reporting that, despite the fact that spring training is starting, there’s still a slight chance that Young could be dealt before having to awkwardly show up at Rangers camp.  He phrases it thusly: “the Rangers still have some potential threads to pull on to make a deal, involving young.”

That may be the vaguest rumor ever, but vague may be better than nuts.  Here was Olney yesterday:

Michael Young would make a whole lot of sense for Milwaukee, if the money could be worked out. Right now, the Brewers have penciled in Yuniesky Betancourt at shortstop, and Young would be an upgrade in a lot of ways.

We all laugh at Betancourt, but really, would Michael Young be as good a shortstop as Bentancourt at this point?

Although, man, that would be a fun trade, wouldn’t it?

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.