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Zack Greinke, soon to be a free agent, is agent-free

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You’d think that a guy who has been portrayed as not being able to handle a lot of distractions wouldn’t want to be in the business of handling his own business affairs as he enters his final season before free agency.  But more so than the social anxiety stuff, Zack Greinke has been defined by the fact that he just does his own thing.

That thing now: going without an agent. A season away from free agency.

Jerry Crasnick has his story over at ESPN.com today. It doesn’t sound like Greinke is going to pull a full-on Gary Sheffield and negotiate his own deal — Greinke says “we’ll see how long it lasts” — but he’s certainly doing things differently than most in his situation do.

To be honest, I’d think that the contract negotiation stuff would be less of a hassle than the day-to-day work of an agent, much of which Crasnick explains in his story. Side business deals. Endorsements if Greinke does any. Random licensing stuff.  Seems like it would be a pain.

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.