With all the huge long-term contracts being handed out this week there was speculation that Clayton Kershaw could be next, but it doesn’t sound like he’s close to signing an extension with the Dodgers.
Kershaw’s agent, Casey Close, was at Dodger Stadium on Monday and Tuesday, but a source told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that a deal “didn’t appear imminent.”
Kershaw has said previously that he didn’t want negotiations to drag into the season, but declined to say if he’s cut off talks. He threw a complete-game shutout and homered against the Giants on Opening Day, so it’s safe to say if talks are ongoing it hasn’t been a distraction yet.
Kershaw is making $11 million this season and will be arbitration eligible in 2014, so the Dodgers have some time before they have to start worrying about him hitting the open market as a free agent. Whenever he signs his next contract, my guess is Kershaw will become the first $200 million pitcher.
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.