Todd Wellemeyer was drafted by the Cubs in the fourth round of the 2000 June MLB Amateur Draft and spent six years in the organization. He served primarily as a starter while in the minor leagues but shifted to the bullpen once the Cubs gave him a spot on their 25-man roster.
Wellemeyer moved on from Chicago in 2006 and spent time in different roles with the Marlins, Royals, Cardinals and Giants before re-signing with the Cubs on a minor league contract this winter.
On Saturday, according to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, Wellemeyer officially announced his retirement from baseball at the age of 32.
He was hoping to take advantage of the Cubs’ shaky rotation depth and climb his way back to the major leagues, but the right-hander allowed eight hits and four earned runs over just 3 2/3 innings Thursday at Triple-A Iowa and apparently took that as a sign that the game had passed him by.
Wellemeyer will finish up with a 4.83 career ERA, a 1.51 WHIP and 459 strikeouts in 614 2/3 innings.
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.