UPDATE: According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said this morning that Brentz shot himself in the leg. There’s a chance he could play in games by the end of spring training, but Abraham notes that Cherington was “clearly displeased” about the incident.
11:33 AM: According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, Red Sox prospect outfielder Bryce Brentz will not be in big league camp this spring because of an injury he sustained due to an accidental discharge of a gun he was cleaning. Brentz declined to disclose the specific nature of the injury, but said it was “nothing serious” and that he should be ready for the season.
“Everything is fine,” Brentz said. “After the rookie program, I had an accident. Everything is fine, but I was cleaning my gun and it accidentally discharged on me and I sustained an injury. Nothing serious. That’s why I was out of big league camp, because at the time I’m not able to participate fully, but I am recovering very fast and should be OK for the season.
Brentz, 24, was a supplemental first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2010. He owns a .276/.335/.479 batting line over his first three seasons in pro ball and made his way to Triple-A Pawtucket at the end of 2012. Baseball America ranked him as the organization’s No. 8 prospect during the offseason. Now he’s getting attention for all the wrong reasons.
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.
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.