Carlos Lee

Dodgers pull out of Carlos Lee trade with Astros

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Carlos Lee was picking his ranch over Hollywood.

With Lee expected to use his partial no-trade clause to reject the deal, the Dodgers pulled out of the trade that would have brought Lee from Houston to Los Angeles, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. The Dodgers were expected to send the Astros right-hander Garrett Gould in return.

Lee is in the final year of a six-year, $100 million contract. Under normal circumstances, he’d have full no-trade protection as a player with 10 years of service time and the last five with the same team. However, he waived those rights under the terms of the deal. As is, there are 14 teams in his no-trade clause, including the Dodgers.

The Dodgers wanted to bring in Lee to play first base over James Loney. Lee, who continued to play while mulling the trade, went 1-for-4 today and is hitting .285/.336/.402 with five homers and 29 RBI in 246 at-bats for the season. Loney is hitting .236/.303/.323 with two homers and 21 RBI in 220 at-bats.

With Carlos Lee off the table, the Dodgers could take another look at free agent Derrek Lee. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Padres third baseman Chase Headley could also be possibilities for the club.

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.