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Brett Myers wants to start, could be a target for the Twins

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Brett Myers said a few weeks ago that he was open to marketing himself as a starter or reliever in free agency, but his agent, Craig Landis, told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the veteran right-hander is now focused on being a starting pitcher. Makes sense in a world where Jeremy Guthrie gets three years and $25 million. Landis also confirmed that the Twins are among the teams who have expressed early interest.

“They’re interested, or perhaps even very interested,” Landis said. “And that’s about as far as we are right now.”

Twins general manager Terry Ryan would only go as far to say that he has “touched base with most of the pitchers on the market,” but Christensen was told by team insiders that Myers will be one of their primary targets because he could be reasonably-priced and would likely embrace making half of his starts in the spacious Target Field.

Myers pitched exclusively out of the bullpen this past season, posting a 3.31 ERA and 41/15 K/BB ratio over 65 1/3 innings between the Astros and White Sox. The 32-year-old has an underwhelming 4.27 ERA as a starter during his career and showed diminished velocity as a member of the Astros’ rotation back in 2011, but he could have some appeal as an innings-eater.

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.