We already know that the Athletics have some interest in Manny Ramirez, but Peter Gammons of MLB Network is hearing that they are also evaluating Magglio Ordonez for a possible tryout during spring training.
Ordonez, who turned 38 in January, returned from right ankle surgery last season and batted just .255/.303/.331 with five home runs, 32 RBI and a career-low .634 OPS over 92 games. He was removed from the Tigers’ ALCS roster in October after re-breaking his ankle and required a second surgery in November. Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported last month that Ordonez has made “consistent progress” in his rehabilitation and intends to play this season.
While Ordonez can’t be counted on to play the outfield anymore, that’s not really a big deal for the A’s since they already have a host of palatable options out there. He’s clearly a big risk following surgery, but one advantage he’d offer to Oakland is that he could be ready to play at the start of the season while Ramirez would still have to serve his 50-game PED suspension.
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.
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.