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Jay-Z meets with the Mets about Robinson Cano

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Go this exclusive story from the New York Post for the details of a meeting between Jay-Z, and Robinson Cano’s CAA agent Brodie Van Wagenen with the Mets’ Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Aldrerson. Stay for the hilarious, 1970s Topps traded card-quality airbrush job of Cano in a Mets uniform.

As for the meeting: it was initiated by Jay-Z and Cano’s people, not the Mets. If you’re the Mets you obviously go to the meeting — dinner at a hotel — because, crap, Jay-Z is paying for your dinner and you can bet that it’s gonna be way more fabulous than whatever other agents like Paul Kinzer or whoever treat you to (no offense, Paul, but you’re not Jay-Z).

If you’re Cano’s people I’m not sure why you think this helps your client much. For a threat to work it has to be credible and there’s no way on God’s green Earth that the Mets are going to sign or even make an offer for Cano, so I’m sure the Yankees aren’t exactly worried that Wilpon and Alderson broke bread with Jay-Z and the guys. The Post story suggests that maybe they just want practice making their sales pitch. We’ll go with that.

But really: check out the picture of Cano in a Mets uniform. It’s lovely.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.

It’s not known yet what kind of contract the two sides are negotiating. It could be a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, a non-guaranteed major league contract, or a guaranteed major league contract.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.