Oscar Taveras

Cardinals send top prospect Oscar Taveras to Triple-A

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Cardinals outfielder Oscas Taveras, who in addition to being arguably the top hitting prospect in baseball also makes regular appearances in our own Drew Silva’s dreams, will begin the season at Triple-A.

That comes as no surprise, because Taveras destroyed Double-A pitching to the tune of a .953 OPS last season as a 20-year-old and there’s no room for him in the Cardinals’ current outfield with Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran flanking Jon Jay.

Taveras could force the issue by dominating Triple-A or could get a call-up if someone goes down with an injury, but clearly the plan is for him to take over as the starting right fielder when Beltran leaves as a free agent after the season.

Taveras hit .297 in 23 spring games and both Baseball America and MLB.com rate him as the third-best prospect in MLB.

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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.