Lamborghini

The new draftee survival guide. Rule number 2: don’t buy a Lambo.

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Dirk Hayhurst does what he does best today, and that’s to tell us how the vast majority of minor leaguers live. As in: on a shoestring, with a long, long road between where they are on draft day and when they get to the big leagues. If they get to the big leagues.

Today it’s the dos and don’ts for the new draftee. As in: don’t buy a fancy car with your signing bonus, don’t go around talking about your college days, make sure you get an agent and things like that. The agent bit is one a lot of people aren’t aware of. We all think of them as taking a cut of a big league contract, but most of the time these guys spend all of their time more or less playing nurse maid to minor leaguers. As Hayhurst explains:

Yes, they’ll take their cut if you sign a big contract, but most of the time they’ll be sending you new spikes, fresh bats, new sports underwear, and even a pair of trendy sunglasses if you can make a strong enough argument for why you need them. By the time they get their percent of you (if they get their percent of you) it will be like paying them back, not letting them suck you dry.

I once went to an evening college football game with a fairly well-known agent who has big time clients. He spent most of the second half of the game texting various minor leaguers in his stable, seeing how their games went, how they were doing that day, did they need any equipment, etc. etc. This wasn’t altruism — he’s hoping that if he takes care of these guys that they’ll stick with him if and when they sign that $75 million deal — but make no mistake, it’s work.

Anyway, this is a good piece from Hayhurst. And yes, it’s in slide show format, but don’t let that deter you. The explanations under each slide are lengthy and substantive so it’s not like it’s mere click bait. It’s quite interesting and informative, actually.

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.