Banned

Rays minor leaguer David Wendt suspended 50 games

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David Wendt, a Double-A catcher in the Rays’ farm system, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.

Several other minor leaguers have been suspended for Methylhexaneamine during the past year, including Blue Jays first-round pick Marcus Stroman.

Here’s what Liam Casey of the Toronto Star wrote about the drug at the time of Stroman’s suspension:

Methylhexaneamine can be found in popular training supplements sold at nutritional and drug stores. While it’s chemically related to amphetamines, it’s only slightly more powerful than a cup of coffee, according to Greg Wells, a kinesiology professor at the University of Toronto who has educated Olympic athletes on doping rules.

“It’s a short-acting stimulant, but it’s not something that we need to hang this guy up for anything like that,” Wells said. “It’s not a big deal.”

Wendt is a non-prospect as a 26-year-old who’s hit just .235 with a .597 OPS in four seasons as a pro, but he probably thinks having to sit out two months is a big deal.

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.