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Torii Hunter still a bit sour about departure from Anaheim

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“I was told money was tight,” veteran outfielder Torii Hunter tweeted on December 13, shortly after the Angels signed Josh Hamilton to a five-year, $125 million free agent contract. “But I guess [Angels owner Arte Moreno] had money hidden under a mattress. Business is business but don’t lie.”

Hunter later claimed that he was joking, but it’s quite obvious that some of those feelings came from a place of true frustration. Here’s Mike DiGiovanna, Angels beat writer for the Los Angeles Times:

Hunter said he was “trying to be funny” in his tweet, adding that the Angels organization “is A-1; I had a blast there.” But he also felt misled. “Just tell me straight up that you don’t want me,” Hunter said, “and I’ll be fine with that.”

Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million contract with the Tigers in mid-November after getting only a one-year, $5 million offer from the Halos. The 37-year-old batted .313/.365/.451 with 16 home runs and 92 RBI in 140 games last season for Anaheim. He is a .277/.335/.466 career hitter in MLB.

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.