Andrew Brackman

The Yankees give wild righty Andrew Brackman a callup

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Despite 75 walks and 14 hit batters in 96 innings in Triple-A this year, Andrew Brackman was promoted to the majors by the Yankees on Tuesday.

Brackman, a 2007 first-round pick rated by Baseball America as the game’s No. 78 prospect entering this season, did manage to turn his season around late.  He had a 7/20 K/BB ratio in 15 1/3 innings in July, but he came through with a 17/3 mark and a 1.56 ERA in 17 1/3 innings out of the pen last month.

Brackman was first tried as a reliever back in June, and he was moved exclusively to the pen after walking nine in 3 1/3 innings in his final start on July 29.  The 6-foot-10 right-hander seems destined to stay there now, and he has the stuff to be a dominant short reliever if things break right.

Fortunately, Brackman, who got a major league contract out of N.C. State, is likely to be awarded an extra option year next season after missing all of 2008 following Tommy John surgery.  Otherwise, the Yankees would have been forced to carry him as a reliever next April or try to send him through waivers.  He’s not ready for prime time just yet, but no one is giving up on him.

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.