Alex Rodriguez

Report: Alex Rodriguez paid for Tony Bosch’s lawyer

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A spokesperson for Tony Bosch’s attorney, Susy Ribero-Ayala, told ESPN’s Outside the Lines on Sunday that Alex Rodriguez paid her a $25,000 retainer in February in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal and later transferred an additional $50,000 that was immediately returned to Rodriguez.

Outside the Lines reviewed the documents for the second transfer. Ribero-Ayala said through her spokesperson that the money was “unsolicited and unwarranted” and was returned. A lawyer for Rodriguez’s former law firm, said that the $50,000 had been sent in an error and asked for it to be returned.

Of course, all of this suggests that Rodriguez was trying to enlist Bosch’s aid in the Biogenesis investigation before MLB earned Bosch’s cooperation. And it’s that involvement in trying to muck up the investigation that MLB has and will use to justify its 211-game suspension of Rodriguez.

Which all seems pretty specious. Of course Rodriguez deserves a steroids suspension, just like everyone else nailed by MLB. But the idea that him attempting to cover up his cheating being worse than the cheating itself is ludicrous, and it’s going to be a tough argument for MLB to make given that Melky Cabrera drew no extra punishment for his attempted coverup in 2012.

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.