New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey reacts to the crowd after getting his 20th win of the season after the Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York

Report: R.A. Dickey more likely to stay with the Mets than be traded

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The future of R.A. Dickey was a popular topic at this week’s Winter Meetings in Nashville, but it’s increasingly likely that he’ll be pitching in Queens again next season.

Marc Carig of New York Newsday was told by a person familiar with the situation that there is a “growing sense” that the Mets will pass on trade offers because they feel they aren’t good enough to trade the 2012 Cy Young Award winner. The Rangers, Blue Jays and Royals are believed to be the most interested suitors, but the Mets haven’t found a deal to their liking yet. There should be more clarity on the situation once Zack Greinke makes a decision on where to sign.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said following David Wright’s press conference earlier this week that Dickey could remain with the Mets in 2013 without an extension and Carig was told that there’s “no guarantee” that a new deal will be worked out. It’s in Dickey’s best interests to get an extension done now while it’s unlikely his trade value will ever be higher, so that’s obviously not an ideal scenario for either side.

Dickey, 38, owns a 2.95 ERA over three seasons with the Mets. It’s believed that he’s looking for a two-year extension in the range of $25 million.

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.