Art Howe

Art Howe would like to be considered for the Blue Jays manager job

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Art Howe hasn’t managed since 2004, but Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun caught up with him and he says, sure, he’d be interested if the Blue Jays called him:

Art Howe wants to be the next manager of your Toronto Blue Jays.

…“I want to manage again, the best thing I have going for me is my experience — seven years in the NL, seven in the AL,” said Howe, 65. “Toronto has always been an interesting team, they have some nice talent and were very competitive until they fell off with those injuries to their position players.

“The New York Yankees are a little long in the tooth, with 13 free agents. Toronto plays in the toughest division in baseball, but they are only a few pieces away from doing something.”

I don’t think that open lobbying like that will win him the job, but at least he’s honest.

The article is a good in general, by the way. Lots of stuff about the 2002 A’s, how he was misinterpreted in “Moneyball” and a general walk down memory lane.

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.