wainwright getty

Adam Wainwright on track for normal spring, normal season

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Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright is over 10 months removed from Tommy John surgery and has not experienced any sort of setback. He recently shifted his rehab base to the team’s spring training facilities in Jupiter, Florida and is expecting to be at full strength by the time St. Louis’ other pitchers arrive.

Cardinals GM John Mozeliak has been saying that Wainwright will be limited to around 150-170 innings this season as a precautionary strategy, but the 30-year-old right-hander is hoping to defy that.

Here’s Wainwright, speaking Saturday at the Cardinals’ Winter Warm-Up (via MLB.com’s Jen Langosch):

“One hundred and fifty innings sounds like half a season to me,” said the 2010 NL Cy Young Award runner-up. “Any pitcher that is out there competing [his] tail off and is decent at what he does should throw more than 150 innings. That would never ever be a goal of mine. I kind of refrain from setting inning goals, especially this year.”

Wainwright posted a 2.42 ERA and 213/56 K/BB ratio across 230 1/3 innings in 2010, and a 2.63 ERA and 212/66 K/BB ratio over 233 innings in 2009. He’s averaged 199 innings per year since the ’07 season.

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.