David Price AP

David Price to the Cubs? Why not?

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To be clear, this is not a trade rumor. This is more like matchmaking. The matchmaker is Ken Rosenthal and you gotta admit that he makes some good points here:

The Cubs are deep enough in position prospects to make the right offer. And the Cubs, though they don’t always act like it, play in a large market, which means they can afford Price’s projected $20 million salary next season.

Oh, and one other thing: When Price said at the All-Star Game that Chicago “would be the coolest city to win a championship in right now,” he wasn’t referring to the White Sox.

He adds that the Cubs hired Derek Johnson as the clubs’ minor league pitching coordinator a couple of years ago and Johnson used to be Price’s college pitching coach, but that’s superficial stuff. It’s the “CC Sabathia lives in California so of course he’ll sign with the [insert California team here]” of 2014. The better part is noting the the Cubs match up pretty well with the Rays in that they have a lot of hitting prospects that the Rays would no doubt covet.

It would be weird for a team as bad as the Cubs to make a trade for an ace that every contender would kill for right now, but it’s not like the Cubs are going to come up with a guy internally who will be as good as Price can be expected to be in 2016 when, I figure, is the earliest they can be legitimately interesting.

Then again, no one expected the Rays to be legitimately interesting as quickly as they were back in 2008.

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.