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Henderson Alvarez replaces Jordan Zimmermann on NL All-Star roster

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According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been added to the National League roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game. He’ll replace Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmerman, who left his start last night with a right biceps cramp.

This is the first All-Star selection for Alvarez. The 24-year-old right-hander has enjoyed an excellent first half, posting a 2.63 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio over 120 innings. He had a rare clunker last night against the Mets, giving up six runs over five innings for his first loss since May 11.

Interestingly, with Zimmermann sidelined, the Nationals will not have an active player on the NL roster. A little strange for a first-place team with some worthy candidates, including Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, and Rafael Soriano. With Alvarez and Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins will now have two representatives.

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.