Mike Pelfrey adjusts his cap after giving a run to the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida

The Mets are interested in trading Mike Pelfrey

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Our own Matthew Pouliot recently suggested that the Mets should cut their losses and release Mike Pelfrey, recouping three-quarters of his $5.6875 million salary for 2012. That doesn’t appear likely to happen, but Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com passes along word that the club would like to trade him.

Pelfrey is coming off a 4.74 ERA last season and has a 14.90 ERA over his first three starts this spring, so the Mets would almost certainly have to foot most of the bill. And because the 28-year-old right-hander is projected to get a raise again this winter through the arbitration process, he’s already an obvious non-tender candidate. Similar to the John Lannan situation with the Nationals, it’s unlikely the Mets would get anything of value in return.

The other major factor here is that the Mets have very little in the way of starting pitching depth. The possible alternatives to take his place include the likes of 40-year-old Miguel Batista, Chris Schwinden or Jeremy Hefner. Pelfrey isn’t anything special, but he has averaged 196 innings over the past four seasons. There’s some value there, especially with Johan Santana still a question mark.

Dealing Pelfrey when his value is at its absolute nadir just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, at least for the Mets. If he gets off to a hot start, I could definitely see it. But not now.

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.