Bob Nutting, Gerrit Cole

2011 No. 1 pick Gerrit Cole makes pro debut in Arizona Fall League

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Gerrit Cole, who was selected No. 1 overall by the Pirates in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, made his professional debut in the Arizona Fall League yesterday.

The results aren’t all that important, but Cole gave up three runs on three hits over 2 1/3 innings while striking out two and walking one. The 21-year-old right-hander tossed two scoreless innings before running into trouble in the third. According to Ashley Marshall of MLB.com, he reportedly topped out at 100 mph with his fastball and threw 35 out of 52 pitches for strikes.

Here’s a link to some video of his start, courtesy of MLBProspectPortal.com.

Cole received an $8 million signing bonus in August as part of a minor league contract with the Pirates, surpassing the $7.5 million Stephen Strasburg received in a major league contract with the Nationals in 2009. The UCLA product will make his minor league debut next season.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.