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Report: Cardinals talking to the Rays about a trade for a starting pitcher

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It was reported earlier this week that the Dodgers have been in talks with the Rays about a potential trade for right-hander Jake Odorizzi. According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, it seems they might have some competition.

It’s unclear if the talks are actually about Odorizzi, as the Rays have some other appealing targets in Drew Smyly, Matt Moore, and Erasmo Ramirez. Tampa Bay just signed Chris Archer to a six-year, $25.5 million extension last year, so it’s highly unlikely he’s on the table as a possibility. Alex Cobb is another potential target, but he’ll likely be sidelined through around midseason next year while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

John Lackey recently left for the division rival Cubs as a free agent and Lance Lynn is due to miss the entire 2016 season after Tommy John surgery, so the Cardinals’ rotation currently consists of Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Carlos Martinez, and Jaime Garcia. As of now, the fifth spot looks to be some combination of Tyler Lyons, Tim Cooney, and Marco Gonzales. Given the injury risks in this bunch, the expectation has been that the Cardinals will acquire another arm this offseason.

Roger Clemens says he’s not running for Congress

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Apparently some people in Texas wanted Roger Clemens to run for Congress? At least enough people to where Clemens felt it necessary to tell Pete Olson, the congressman whose seat is going vacant due to his retirement, that, no, he had no interest in running for it.

From ESPN:

“The climate in politics at this time is much more than I would want to undertake, along with my family considerations,” Clemens said in a message to Olson that was obtained by ABC News.

“I am a Republican and I support our President and will continue to do so,” Clemens said. “No matter who our President may be, I will continue my support of them and root for them to be successful, just as I did when President Obama was in office.”

That’s a pretty diplomatic answer from Clemens. But even if he did not have family concerns and even if the “climate” disinterested him, I’m struggling to imagine Clemens as a viable political candidate in the first place.

For as good a pitcher as he was — and for as generally popular as he may be in Texas — the guy has some serious baggage, right? And I mean that beyond just the broad arc of the PEDs controversy that surrounded him for so long. The specifics of that controversy spun off his indictment for perjury before Congress, for example. He was acquitted — and I think it was a proper acquittal — but that was not exactly his finest hour.

It also led to a nasty battle of defamation lawsuits with a drug dealer that, remarkably, caused Clemens to come off way worse than the drug dealer, and that’s quite a trick. That whole process also revealed that he had an extraordinarily problematic extra-marital relationship with a now-dead country music singer. In all, it was a profound, 100% self-inflicted, reputation-trashing, public relations disaster that, even years later, he has taken no responsibility for. It was the sort of episode that, in addition to the ammo it might give any political opponent he may have, calls into serious questions Clemens’ judgment and sense of strategy, both of which are things that, to put it lightly, can be useful in politics.

Clemens, of course, is not going to cite any of those things as a reason for not wanting to run for office, nor does he have to. His simple “no” is all he needs to say and he can go back doing whatever it is he does for the Houston Astros.

But I am struggling mightily to understand why those people who are apparently encouraging him to run for office are doing so despite all of that being out there on the record. Is fame all that matters in politics now? Is a win bought by fame the be-all and end-all, even it means electing a candidate who is profoundly compromised both ethically and morally?

Haha, just kidding. You don’t need to answer that. I think we already know the answer.