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Nick Hundley’s nightmare season ends with knee surgery

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Nick Hundley signed a three-year, $9 million extension with the Padres in January, but it’s been all downhill from there.

Hundley batted just .166 with three home runs and a .485 OPS in 55 games prior to being demoted to Triple-A Tucson in late June. The 28-year-old backstop suffered a hamstring injury during his time in the minors, but found his way back to the majors earlier this month while Yasmani Grandal was on the disabled list with an oblique injury. However, he appeared in just three games before being placed on the disabled list with a right knee injury. Making matters worse, Corey Brock of MLB.com is reporting that he’ll undergo season-ending surgery Wednesday to repair a torn meniscus.

Hundley actually suffered the injury way back in April, so that would certainly explain his season-long struggles. He’ll likely be 100 percent by spring training, but his future with the Padres is in doubt now that Grandal has seemingly jumped him on the depth chart.

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)
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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.