Manny Ramirez

Manny Ramirez will hold a workout for MLB teams

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Manny Ramirez is predictably still looking for work after MLB reduced his suspension from 100 games to 50 games and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that he plans to hold a workout for MLB teams later this month.

Last offseason Ramirez signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Rays, only to retire after five games when his 100-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs was announced.

Considering how limited his market was last winter and the fact that he hasn’t played since April it’s tough to imagine Ramirez getting a big-league deal at age 40, and at this point he may have a hard time convincing a team he’s worth a minor-league deal.

Ramirez’s last full season was 2010 and he hit .298 with 19 homers and a .949 OPS in 104 games for the Dodgers and White Sox. Under normal circumstances that would be enough to make him worth a low-cost flier, even at age 40, but because it’s Ramirez the over/under for teams attending his workout is probably around 2.5 (depending on how many scouts in the area are curious and/or bored that day).

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.