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Carlos Beltran won’t visit White House with Houston Astros

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Just after the World Series, the Houston Astros announced that, yes, they will visit the White House if invited to honor their World Series championship. As expected, however, at least one member of the club will not go: Carlos Beltran.

Beltran said that it was a matter of wanting to spend time with his family and wasn’t about President Trump or politics specifically, but folks can be forgiven if they don’t buy that entirely given that Beltran has been vocally critical of the administration’s hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico. Here was Beltran yesterday, talking about that disappointment:

“There’s no doubt that I’m disappointed. I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of people disappointed. We haven’t (gotten) some benefits. Being part of the United States, you expect to at least get the same benefits when tragedies like this happen. The fact that we haven’t (gotten) those, yeah, it’s a disappointment.”

Beltran may not be the only Astros player not to make the trip to the White House. Just after the World Series third baseman Alex Bregman said he’d follow whatever two of his teammates decide, saying “I’m going to do whatever Carlos Beltranand Carlos Correa do.” Correa is not yet on the record, but it would not be at all surprising if he, a Puerto Rican native like Beltran, did not follow Beltran’s lead for similar reasons. Bregman, for his part, has been sharply critical of Trump in the past on other matters.

Earlier this week, multiple members of the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, including Chris Long, Malcom Jenkins Torrey Smith said they’d skip their team’s White House visit as well. Long, along with two dozen other players, also skipped the visit last year when he was a member of the Patriots.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.