nakajima getty

Yankees, Hiroyuki Nakajima unlikely to agree to deal before Friday’s deadline

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The Yankees and Japanese infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima have until Friday at 5 p.m. ET to agree on a contract, but Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger was told by “a person with knowledge of the situation” that a deal is unlikely.

The Bombers were given a 30-day exclusive negotiating window with Nakajima last month after submitting a $2 million bid through the posting process.

While the deadline is technically Friday, a deal would likely need to get done sooner because Nakajima would also have to pass a physical. Consistent with what we’ve heard all along, the Yankees view the 29-year-old strictly as a backup player and intend to compensate him as such. No word on the current terms being discussed, but Jack Curry of YES Network reported earlier today that a deal is unlikely to happen unless Nakajima is willing to accept a one-year contract.

Nakajima batted .297/.354/.433 with 16 home runs, 100 RBI and 21 stolen bases last season with the Seibu Lions. He is a .302 career hitter in Nippon Professional Baseball. If the current reports are accurate, it looks like he’ll be playing there again in 2012.

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.