Pittsburgh Pirates v Philadelphia Phillies

Phillies expected to send Domonic Brown to minors to make room for Hunter Pence

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I hope you’re happy, Phillies fans.

While the Phillies were able to acquire All-Star outfielder Hunter Pence from the Astros last night, we’ll still have to be subjected to Raul Ibanez in left field on a regular basis. According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Phillies plan to send Domonic Brown down to the minors so that he can play everyday, presumably until the rosters expand in September.

The Phillies will likely need to make two roster moves today, with Pence coming over from the Astros expected Placido Polanco to return from the disabled list. On the positive side of things, at least the Phillies didn’t cave completely and give up Brown as part of the Pence trade. They paid a heavy price to get a deal done with the Astros, but including Brown would have been utter madness.

Brown, 23, is batting .246/.335/.393 with five home runs, 19 RBI and three stolen bases over 204 plate appearances this season. The rookie outfielder is hitting .296 (21-for-71) with a .398 on-base percentage this month.

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.