Erik Bedard

Red Sox land Erik Bedard in three-team, seven-player deal

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This one came in just as the clock struck four, which is midnight for trade deadline purposes: Erik Bedard from Seattle to the Red Sox. The Dodgers are involved too.

Here’s how it works: Boston is getting Bedard and Josh Fields from Seattle. The Sox are then sending minor league catcher Tim Federowicz, righty Juan Rodriguez and right-hander Stephen Fife to the Dodgers. Outfielder Trayvon Robinson is going from the Dodgers to the Mariners. Outfielder Chih Hsien Chiang is going from the Red Sox to the Mariners.

Got that? If so, good, you’re better than me, because some of those minor leaguer movements may be wrong.  There are at least three different reporters saying three different things with respect to where everyone is going.  We’ll clarify that as we can, but the key thing for now is that Bedard is going to Boston.

And, compared to taking on Rich Harden, that’s a better deal.  Bedard is still fraglie, but not as fragile as Harden.  If he can remain healthy, however, he remains capable of solid performance for the stretch run.

The big question I have here is why in the wide world of sports the Dodgers were in on this deal, and why they gave up Trayvon Robinson, who looks to be a stud prospect. Playing center field for Albuquerque, Robinson is hitting .293/.375/.563.  Yes, that’s a hitter-friendly environment, but he looks to be big league ready or close to it.

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.