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Report: Rays interested in Jorge Posada

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We already know Jorge Posada isn’t returning to the Yankees, but he hasn’t dismissed the possibility of continuing his career elsewhere.

With that in mind, Javier Maymi of ESPNDeportes.com hears (link in Spanish) that the division-rival Rays are interested in the 40-year-old. Maymi confirmed the information with Posada’s father, who said he has also had some discussions with the Orioles and Phillies. However, he hasn’t decided whether he will play in 2012.

The Rays are looking at Posada as a possibility for first base, designated hitter and backup catcher. Jose Lobaton or Robinson Chirinos figure to be the primary backup for the newly-signed Jose Molina, so Posada would likely only be an emergency option behind the plate.

Posada batted .235/.315/.398 with 14 home runs, 44 RBI and a .714 OPS over 387 plate appearances this past season. He did have an .814 OPS (and all of his homers) against right-handed pitching, so he could still have some value if used appropriately.

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.