Cincinnati Reds v Oakland Athletics

Billy Beane has no idea when Manny Ramirez might join A’s

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Manny Ramirez has been equal parts injured and ineffective at Triple-A, going 9-for-37 (.243) with zero extra-base hits while missing multiple games with leg soreness.

He was eligible to return from a 50-game suspension last week, but the A’s quickly ruled that out and today general manager Billy Beane told Joe Stiglich of the San Jose Mercury News that … well, basically no one has any idea when Ramirez might be back in the majors:

Until he’s on the field on a regular basis and we see where he’s at from a baseball standpoint, we’re really not in a position where we’re ready to make a decision. We said from Day 1 that nothing is set in stone.

Beane went on to hint that the A’s may simply decide that Ramirez is no longer worth the trouble, admitting: “As you get deeper into the season, that is a question you’ve gotta ask yourself.”

On the other hand they can basically re-start the 30-day rehab window at any time because he’s been injured, extending his stay in the minors, and the A’s will only be on the hook for $500,000 if they do decide to promote Ramirez at some point.

Right now, though, he can’t even stay in the lineup at Triple-A, let alone beat up on Triple-A pitching.

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.