Scott Hairston

The Yankees are still interested in Scott Hairston

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In past years I would not make much of an effort to post about the Yankees’ possible interest in role players, but in a world where their failure to land guys like Jeff Keppinger and Nate Schierholtz actually upsets people, this is relevant:

The Yankees starting outfield is Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Ichiro Suzuki … The Yankees still have an interest in signing another outfielder and remain interested in Scott Hairston.

This comes from Kevin Kernan in his column about the Matt Diaz signing, which suggests that the Yankees are not content to go with those three starters, Diaz and a prayer. Hairston hit .263/.299/.504 with 20 homers and 57 RBI in 377 at-bats with the Mets last year. The OBP is scary, but the pop and flexibility — Hairston can play all three outfield positions — would be welcome. Especially if Ichiro reverts to his 2011-early-2012 form.

Earlier this offseason it was reported that Hairston wanted a multi-year deal. The Yankees have been loathe to do that with anyone — they were forced to do so with Ichiro thanks to a bidding war — so it’s not at all certain that Hairston would be interested in pinstripes. Especially considering that the Cardinals, Giants, Indians and Tigers had previously expressed interest.

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.