Carlos Lee, Nathan Lucero, Rex Jones

Carlos Lee carted off with rib injury after collision

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Astros outfielder Carlos Lee was sent to the hospital for X-rays and a CT scan after taking Angel Sanchez’s knee to the rib-cage in a collision Sunday.

The two players were chasing after a Mark Kotsay pop-fly in the seventh inning of the game against the Brewers.  After the collision, Lee remained on the ground in pain for several minutes before being taken off on a cart.

MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports that chest X-rays on Lee showed no fracture, but that the results of the CT scan were still pending.  Lee is expected to spend the night in the hospital.

Lee hit a three-run homer in the inning before the collision.  He’s off to another rough start this year with a .207 average and just five walks in 111 at-bats, but he has managed 18 RBI in 28 games.  The Astros have little with which to replace him — they’d probably go with Brian Bogusevic and Jason Bourgeois in left field — so they would miss him if he ends up on the DL.

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.