Detroit Tigers v Atlanta Braves

Magglio Ordonez asks for more rehab time in minors before rejoining Tigers

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Magglio Ordonez was scheduled to come off the disabled list today, but Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that he asked the Tigers for some additional time in the minors to get “his timing at the plate.”

Ordonez is 7-for-26 (.269) with a double through six games at Triple-A, striking out six times versus zero walks while posting an ugly .577 OPS. He also hit just .172 in 26 games for the Tigers prior to being placed on the DL with ongoing ankle problems, so it’s tough to blame him for thinking a few more games against Triple-A pitching is worthwhile.

Beck writes that Ordonez’s ankle is no longer a problem, which is key because once he does return to the Tigers’ lineup it’ll have to be as an outfielder rather than a designated hitter, where Victor Martinez is the everyday guy.

Ordonez is now aiming to return Monday and it’ll be interesting to see if manager Jim Leyland uses him as a platoon player facing mostly left-handed pitching early on. He probably should, for health reasons and production reasons.

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.