Toronto Blue Jays Jose Reyes hits a single against the Houston Astros in Dunedin

Jose Reyes could return by the end of June

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Jose Reyes is making progress on an ankle injury suffered on April 12 against the Royals. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports the shortstop had a walking boot removed and talk part in stretching prior to tonight’s game against the Yankees. Another surprising piece of news:

Reyes was expected to be out until the All-Star break, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said it’s possible that timeline could be pushed up to the end of June. The biggest test will come when he starts running, something which likely will happen within the next couple of weeks.

The injury is somewhat similar to the one he experienced back in 2003 with the Mets. He was forced to miss only 26 games because it happened toward the end of the season, but he was still feeling the effects the following Spring Training.

The healing process should be a lot quicker this time around because the pain hasn’t lingered in quite the same way.

The Jays could certainly use Reyes as they sit at 17-25 in last place in the AL East. They acquired Reyes from the Marlins in November in the 13-player trade that also saw Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio head north of the border. In 43 trips to the plate prior to the injury, Reyes was hitting .395 with five stolen bases in as many attempts.

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.