Nationals starting pitcher Strasburg throws to the Mets in the second inning of their MLB National League game in New York

Mike Rizzo: Stephen Strasburg’s arm is “structurally perfect”

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And his eyes are like shimmering pools. His skin the finest alabaster

Following a scare Monday night regarding “tightness” in Stephen Strasburg’s forearm, Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said Tuesday morning that the ace’s right arm is “structurally perfect” and he is not expected to miss a start.

This is good news. Of course Strasburg himself said that he was good to go last night. As we saw last year, though, Strasburg is not the final arbiter of when he’s going to pitch, so team signoff was necessary.

So, if we’ve eliminated the structural problems, what is left to explain the 1-4 record and fewer strikeouts? And the “mechanical glitches” mentioned in the linked article by Boswell and Kilgore?

The Nats have four days to figure it out before he goes back out there again.

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.