Tim Stauffer

Padres starters Tim Stauffer, Dustin Moseley become free agents

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By outrighting Tim Stauffer and Dustin Moseley on Friday, the Padres dropped two-fifths of their planned 2012 rotation from the 40-man roster. Both have opted for free agency, the Union-Tribune reports.

Stauffer had a 1.85 ERA in seven starts and 25 relief appearances for the Padres in 2010 and a 3.73 ERA in 31 starts in 2011, but he made just one appearance in 2012 before going down with an elbow injury. Season-ending surgery to repair his flexor tendon followed.

Moseley, likewise, made just one start this year. He underwent labrum surgery on his shoulder in April, and he probably won’t be ready for the start of 2013. The 3o-year-old made 20 starts for the Padres in 2011 and went 3-10 with a 3.30 ERA.

One imagines the Padres will try to re-sign Stauffer at a lesser salary than the $3.2 million he made this year. Edinson Volquez and Clayton Richard are their only veteran returning starters, and the team will surely listen to offers to both this winter. Andrew Cashner also figures to have a spot in the rotation if healthy, but the Padres will need to add depth, and pitchers might not be quite as eager to sign with the team now that the fences at Petco are coming in a bit.

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.