Chicago White Sox v New York Yankees

Jorge Posada asks out of lineup after Yankees drop him to ninth

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9:20 p.m. EDT: Sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that Posada asked out of the lineup due to back stiffness, contradicting pretty much everything that’s come out over the last hour and a half.  Maybe there’s some truth to it, but it sounds like spin.  In speaking with reporters just before 8 p.m., GM Brian Cashman made it clear that Posada’s exit from the lineup was not injury-related.

8:45 p.m. EDT: Buster Olney tweets:

To be clear:Posada said to reporters at 4 p.m. that he understood move to 9th spot, blamed himself.At 6 pm, he told Girardi something else.

8:30 p.m. EDT: A source told YES Network’s Jack Curry that Posada told manager Joe Girardi that he was “insulted” to be batting ninth and that he went on to throw “a hissy fit.”

The Yankees are believed to be weighing docking Posada’s pay as a result of the incident.  Indications are that Posada is not leaning towards retirement.

8:00 p.m. EDT: GM Brian Cashman says Jorge Posada asked out of the lineup after being dropped to the ninth spot.   While indications were that he was fine was being dropped, obviously, it wasn’t the case.  One wonders if he might be suddenly weighing retirement.

6:40 p.m. EDT: The Yankees just scratched Posada from the lineup.  No reason was given.  Andruw Jones has replaced him as the DH and No. 9 hitter.

Early word was that Posada was OK with the switch to the ninth spot in the lineup.  He indicated that it was an appropriate move given his struggles.

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For the first time in exactly 12 years, Jorge Posada is batting out of the ninth spot.

In a 4-for-25 slump over the past 10 days, Posada was dropped to the very bottom in the Yankees lineup for Saturday’s game against the Red Sox.

He last opened a game batting ninth on May 14, 1999.

Posada is hitting just .165/.272/.349 for the year. He has six homers, but the last one of them came on April 23. He’s driven in four runs in his last 16 starts.

Likely also influencing manager Joe Girardi’s decision is the fact that Posada hasn’t excelled against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett. He’s 11-for-42 with one homer and four RBI versus the right-hander, good for a 668 OPS. Most of his teammates have fared quite a bit better, as evidenced by Beckett’s career 5.90 ERA in 23 starts against the Bombers.

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.