Scalper

MLB looking at switching from StubHub to Ticketmaster

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Remember how the Yankees and some other teams were all mad at StubHub because … well, their reasoning was completely silly, but know that several teams are not happy with StubHub. Seems they’re looking at alternatives: like going with Ticketmaster over StubHub as the official resale vendor for tickets.

I’m not sure how this would make baseball teams happier, because the issue they are mad about — the secondary seller has tickets listed below box office prices — won’t be solved with Ticketmaster. Ticketmaster does resale for the NHL and the NBA and it’s the same story: if the game isn’t sold out, you can always find cheap tickets on a secondary basis.

But hey, teams could get revenge on those bottom-feeding fans they hate so much: Ticketmaster is way more annoying that StubHub and the fees are often higher, so that’d show ’em!

UPDATE:  I could be wrong about the price floors with Ticketmaster. I’m told by a couple people that they do for NHL tickets, meaning that even when a game is not sold out, you can’t get tickets from Ticketmaster below box office price.  On the other hand, I’m told that their fees are more reasonable than StubHub’s.

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.