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Royals hoping to re-sign right-hander Jeremy Guthrie

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Veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie found new life when he was traded from the Rockies to the Royals on July 20, posting a 3.16 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in his final 14 starts. He’s set to hit the open market five days after the conclusion of the 2012 World Series, so the Kansas City front office is scrambling to put together a proposal in the hope that he’ll re-sign before even getting a whiff of free agency.

“There’s always a chance (of working out a deal before other teams get a shot at him),” Royals general manager Dayton Moore told reporters this weekend. “These negotiations seem to go much better and smoother for everybody when you keep it between the two parties.”

Guthrie earned $8.2 million this summer in his third and final year of arbitration. He seems likely to settle for a cut in pay given how poorly he pitched for the Rockies in the first half (6.35 ERA in 90 2/3 innings), but the Royals will risk losing him for good if their offer is too low in either length or salary.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star suspects that the Royals won’t do anything longer than two years.

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.