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Rangers place Scott Feldman (and his contract) on waivers

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Rangers have placed injured right-hander Scott Feldman on outright waivers, which means he’s available to any team willing to claim the remainder of his contract.

However, in addition to being on the disabled list following knee surgery that has kept him out of action since last season Feldman is also owed about $2 million for the rest of this year and $6.5 million for 2012, with a $9.25 million option or $600,000 buyout for 2013.

In other words, odds are he’ll pass through waivers unclaimed and the Rangers can then remove him from the 40-man roster while keeping him in the organization beyond his rehab assignment. They’d probably be thrilled if one of the other 29 teams felt like assuming the $9 million or so he’s still owed, of course, but it’s a long shot even with various contenders in the market for rotation help.

Feldman got the contract extension after winning 17 games in 2009, but even then his 4.08 ERA and 113/65 K/BB ratio in 190 innings made the Rangers’ long-term commitment a questionable one.

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.