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Mets place Daniel Murphy on DL with calf strain; calling up prospect Dilson Herrera

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The Mets announced this evening that All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy is headed to the disabled list with a right calf strain. In a corresponding roster move, prospect infielder Dilson Herrera will be called up from Double-A Binghamton.

Murphy left Sunday’s game with the injury and hasn’t progressed as hoped. He was sent for an MRI today and there’s no clear timetable for his return.

Herrera, who was acquired from the Pirates in the Marlon Byrd deal last August, was batting .340/.406/.560 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI over 61 games in Double-A this season. This was after putting up a .307/.355/.410 batting line over 67 games with High-A St. Lucie.

The promotion comes as a bit of a surprise, as the 20-year-old Herrera was the youngest player in the Eastern League, but he was required to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason. The Murphy injury ultimately moved up the timeline and gives him a chance to get some major league experience going into 2015. That could be a valuable thing if the Mets consider trading Murphy this offseason.

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.