Prince Fielder

Prince Fielder and Matt Kemp were baseball’s only iron men

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Not only did Prince Fielder have another monster season for the Brewers, ranking among the MLB leaders in nearly every key offensive category, the 27-year-old first baseman is the only player in baseball to be in the lineup for all 162 games. Matt Kemp also missed zero games, but the Dodgers only played 161.

Along with Kemp four other players (Dan Uggla, Ichiro Suzuki, Joey Votto, Miguel Cabrera) played 161 games this year.

Fielder also played every game in 2009 and missed just one game last season despite coming down with a nasty flu in September. And since becoming an everyday player in 2006 as a 22-year-old rookie Fielder has played 959 of a possible 972 games for the Brewers, which is the most in all of baseball during that six-season span. Kemp, meanwhile, has the longest active streak of consecutive games played.

He may not look like the epitome of health, but when it comes to being in the lineup every day Fielder has been MLB’s iron man.

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.