Scott Rolen

Scott Rolen is still unsure if he wants to play again or retire

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Every few weeks we do an update on Scott Rolen that basically says he’s still trying to decide if he wants to play in 2013 or retire, and apparently the 38-year-old remains undecided.

Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Rolen “has been in periodic contact” with the Reds, who despite being committed to Todd Frazier as the starting third baseman have “interest in bringing Rolen back if he wants to play.”

General manager Walt Jocketty estimated that Rolen will make a decision within the next 7-10 days, but Sheldon speculates that it’ll be longer because “there really is no need for Rolen to make some sort of announcement, as long as the club hasn’t set any kind of deadline.”

In other words, as long as the Reds leave the door open Rolen can take his sweet time and not have to worry about changing his mind. For whatever it’s worth, Sheldon predicts that Rolen will eventually decide to call it quits after hitting .245 with eight homers and a .716 OPS in 92 games last season.

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.