Buster Posey, Rob Drake

Buster Posey catches two innings in first game since collision last May

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We’ve provided pretty consistent updates on Buster Posey since his season ended last May with a broken leg and torn ankle ligaments following a collision with Marlins’ outfielder Scott Cousins. But after months of talking about the latest step in his rehab process, we finally have some baseball results to pass along.

Posey caught two innings yesterday in his Cactus League debut against the Reds. Though his appearance was brief, he managed to block some balls in the dirt and threw down to second base on a successful stolen base attempt by Miguel Cairo. He had the unenviable task of facing hard-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman in his only at-bat, running the count to 2-2 before flying out to right field.

The goal is being ready for Opening Day, but Posey told John Schlegel of MLB.com that he was pretty satisfied with his debut.

“I haven’t played since the end of last May, so I definitely had some nerves — good nerves, though,” Posey said.

“This is part of the process. We’ll see how my ankle responds tomorrow. From all indications now, I think it’ll be good. We’ve stuck to the plan the whole way.”

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Posey’s next step will be catching four innings, likely on Sunday. The hope is to stretch him out to seven or eight innings by the middle of the exhibition schedule and having him catch a full nine-inning game before the team breaks camp.

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.