Atlanta Braves v New York Mets

Ervin Santana will make his Braves debut Wednesday

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Signed to a one-year, $14.1 million contract on March 12, right-hander Ervin Santana will make his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets in Atlanta.

Santana wasn’t ready to begin the season in the Braves’ rotation because he reported to spring training late and needed time to build up his normal arm strength, so instead he made a minor-league start Friday at Triple-A and allowed six runs in 5.1 innings.

Santana was one of the best pitchers in the league last season for the Royals, throwing 211 innings with a 3.24 ERA at age 30, but teams were unwilling to give him a huge long-term contract as a free agent in part because signing him also required forfeiting a draft pick. His inconsistent track record also played a part, as Santana had an ERA above 5.00 in 2012 and 2009, but Atlanta’s hand was forced by multiple injuries to the rotation.

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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.

Royals sign Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Starting pitcher Danny Duffy #41 of the Kansas City Royals pitches during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium on September 2, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Kansas City Royals have signed starter Danny Duffy to a five-year, $65 million contract extension.

Duffy was arbitration eligible this offseason and would’ve been a free agent next winter if he hadn’t signed the deal. Given his stuff he might’ve made a mint as a free agent, but he’s also been inconsistent at times and any pitcher is an injury away from losing a payday, making this a nice, lucrative bet for the lefty.

Duffy, 28, posted a 3.51 ERA and a 188/42 K/BB ratio across 179.2 innings in 2016.