Ryan Zimmerman AP

When will Ryan Zimmerman return to Nationals? “Sometime in September”

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Ryan Zimmerman has been on the disabled list for a month with a hamstring injury and when asked yesterday when the third baseman is expected to return Nationals manager Matt Williams replied “sometime in September.”

Williams also told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com:

When? I don’t know, but sometime in September. I don’t think anything would happen until after [September 1] because he still hasn’t gone the full gamut of tests. And then he would have to have some time to play. The last thing we want is for him to go to early and really do something bad to it. So we have to be sure when he comes back that he’s ready, that there are no limitations, and he can go score from first and play defense and do all the things that he does really well.

There’s only a week or so remaining in the minor-league season, so if Zimmerman wants to go on a rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list he’s running out of time. Williams suggested that simulated games could be an option, so clearly the Nationals aren’t going to rush him back.

Zimmerman has been limited to just 52 games this season due to an assortment of injuries, including his chronic shoulder problems, but when healthy enough to be in the lineup–at third base or in left field–he has hit his usual .282 with an .802 OPS.

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)
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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.