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Phillies wanted Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias from Dodgers for Cole Hamels

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FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reported Monday that the Phillies have made ace left-hander Cole Hamels available ahead of Thursday’s July 31 trade deadline, but the asking price on him is apparently sky-high.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today writes that the Dodgers — who are known to be in the market for a top-tier starting pitcher — reached out to the Phillies front office recently but were told it would take top prospects Joc Pederson, Corey Seager, and Julio Urias to get Hamels. Los Angeles quickly said no.

Pederson, a 22-year-old center fielder, has batted .318/.450/.585 with 22 home runs and 25 stolen bases in 91 games this season at Triple-A Albuquerque. Seager, a 20-year-old shortstop, owns a .353/.410/.630 slash line with 18 home runs and 71 RBI in 86 games between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga. Urias, a 17-year-old left-hander from Mexico, has registered a 2.77 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and 134 strikeouts over his first 113 2/3 innings as a professional.

To call that a massive return package would be an understatement. It’s pretty clear now that Hamels — who is under contract with the Phillies through the 2018 season — is probably going to be staying put.

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.