Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life

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UPDATE:  In addition to saying that Miguel Cabrera was going to have the biggest year of his life — see below — Jim Leyland just threw one right into my wheelhouse.  Jeff Passan is on the scene passing quotes along:

“Miguel Cabrera is in the best shape of his life. He’s stronger than he’s ever been. And he’s quicker than he’s ever been.”

The BSOML meme is officially broken.  I can’t write about it with a straight face anymore. Well, I probably still will, but I’ll never top Leyland.  Leyland went on to say this about Cabrera’s arrest:

“It has no effect. It might make some dramatic reading material. It’s not going to do shit. Believe me. Nothing.”

I laud Leyland for having his player’s back. But that’s a bridge too far. Cabrera may have a good season because, after all, he’s a great player.  But the man also has a serious problem with alcohol, and that’s not nothing. There will be an effect. There has to be, because Miguel Cabrera needs to change his life.

9:06 A.M.: Jim Leyland spoke to reporters this morning. I would not have guessed beforehand that this is something he’d say about Miguel Cabrera

“he’s probably going to have the biggest year of his life”

Well, it has certainly started out with a bang.

Although I suppose it’s entirely possible too.  If there is any bright side at all to this — and yes, I realize I’m reaching — it’s that this happened just as spring training is getting underway.  There are obviously major issues to deal with here — this was not a case of one too many beers at the barbecue — but he has a month and a half in which his primary job is to focus on physical conditioning. And those around him, including Leyland, the front office, teammates and other, have more time to help him get his head right than they would if the routines of the regular season were underway.

At least that’s the hope.

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.