Tim Hudson Rumors
1:41pm: O'Brien says Hudson received a three-year, $28MM deal - $9MM annually plus a $1MM buyout on the option.
8:41am: The Braves announced Tim Hudson's extension today, according to Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He says it's a three-year deal worth around $9MM per year, with an option for 2013. Hudson's new deal overwrites the $12MM mutual option he had for 2010.
Yesterday, MLB.com's Mark Bowman wrote, "We've long known that the Braves are going to end up trading either Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez." O'Brien feels that Kenshin Kawakami is another possibility. Bowman suggests that the Yankees or Angels could be suitors for Lowe, should they decide not to sign John Lackey. Vazquez could be extended if Lowe is moved.
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that "Someone here at the meetings who would probably know, told me the Braves have at least discussed trying to sign [Javier] Vazquez to a contract extension."
Vazquez was quietly an elite pitcher for Atlanta in 2009, posting a 2.87 ERA in 219 1/3 innings, striking out 238 and walking just 44. He's signed to an $11.5MM deal for 2010, after which he will be a free agent.
There has been speculation that Atlanta will deal Vazquez, since with the return of Tim Hudson, they appear to have six starting pitchers for five spots. Meanwhile, a deal for the underachieving Derek Lowe, who was far worse than Vazquez and has $45MM left on his contract, would presumably yield far less than Vazquez.
It's been a busy first day on the hot stove, so here's another batch of links...
- Derrick Goold of The St. Lous Post Dispatch says there are eight teams "that have the need and the financial wherewithal" to sign Matt Holliday. It's the usual suspects (i.e. big market clubs), and Goold explains why each may be interested in Holliday.
- Craig Landis, agent for J.J. Putz, said that his client "hasn't ruled out returning to the Mets with a cheaper, incentive-laden deal," according to Bart Hubbuch of The NY Post. Earlier today we learned that the Mets informed Putz that they wouldn't be picking up his 2010 option.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy says the Brewers are waiting to see whether Felipe Lopez qualifies as a Type-A or B free agent, and that will likely play a role in their decision whether or not to offer him arbitration. Eddie Bajek's work projects Lopez to be a Type-B, but he's right on the cutoff.
- ESPN's Keith Law loves the Mark Teahen trade for the Royals, noting that they traded one average player close to free agency for two average players with several years of team control left.
- John Fay of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Reds' relievers Nick Masset and Jared Burton are arbitration eligible as Super Two's, but Micah Owings is not.
- Meanwhile, the Reds are expected to decline Ramon Hernandez's $8.5MM option for 2010, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon.
- David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal Constitution has some quotes from Tim Hudson about his contract extension.
- Did you catch Mariano Rivera saying that he wants to play another five years during the Yankees' World Series celebration last night? It turns out he wasn't kidding. Chad Jennings of The Journal News quotes the Yanks' closer as saying “I’m serious. I hope the organization does whatever it takes to bring me back.”
Multiple journalists said to expect the Braves' three-year extension for Tim Hudson to be finished last week, but that didn't happen. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explains why:
The delay on Hudson extension resulted from the team having to find a doctor the insurance company approved of to do the physical. But they got the doc and Huddy passed the physical, from what I’m told. If so, it shouldn’t be much longer before they sign this deal and it gets announced.
The Braves may also prefer to wait until after the World Series to announce the deal, though Freddy Sanchez's extension with the Giants was publicized mid-Series. MLB.com's Mark Bowman agrees with O'Brien's info.
Hudson's signing could lead the Braves to trade a starter for a hitter. O'Brien discussed the idea of trading Javier Vazquez in a blog post yesterday.
If and when Tim Hudson signs an extension with the Braves, MLB.com's Mark Bowman says GM Frank Wren appears likely to shop Derek Lowe or Javier Vazquez. Moving one of the two veterans would create the financial flexibility to allow the Braves to pursue a first baseman, a closer and, possibly, an outfielder.
It's a "strong possibility" that Adam LaRoche, Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano will all sign elsewhere as free agents. Bowman says the Braves may consider signing Billy Wagner or trading for Matt Capps if they don't retain Gonzalez and Soriano.
Jason Heyward looms in the minor leagues. He's arguably the game's top prospect, but the Braves may choose to sign an outfielder. This would enable Heyward to pick up more minor league experience - he's only played 50 games in the upper minors - and would allow the Braves to prevent Heyward from becoming a Super Two. It's the strategy they used with Tommy Hanson this year and it makes sense to do the same with Heyward.
Last week, Tim suggested the Braves spend on a first baseman and a left fielder. To cut costs, he recommends the Braves save on the bullpen. Trading Vazquez would free up $11.5MM for the upcoming season and trading Lowe would free up $15MM, but the Braves may ultimately need the pitching depth.
Some late-afternoon snacks for you...
- The incomparable Thomas Boswell answers questions on a variety of subjects, including his belief that Jim Riggleman will return as manager of the Nationals next year. As Boswell puts it, "Has any manager in history ever not been retained after he improved a team's winning percentage by .125 and ended the season 7-0? Especially when the team likes him and he's born-raised in that town? I doubt it very much."
- Rob Neyer discusses Atlanta's options, now that it appears they will bring Tim Hudson back.
- And former Brave Mike Mordecai will be Toronto's roving minor league instructor, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.
Some links to read for Thursday morning...
- The AP reports (via the Miami Herald) that the Seibu Lions won the rights to negotiate with top Japanese amateur Yusei Kikuchi.
- Another top young pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, hit 100 mph repeatedly in his third AFL start, according to ESPN.com's Jason Grey.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle says fans and media members need to hold Astros owner Drayton McLane accountable, and says it wasn't GM Ed Wade's fault that managerial candidate Manny Acta signed with the Indians.
- Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch hears that the Cardinals still have interest in bringing John Smoltz back next year, perhaps as the team's fourth starter. The club seems likely to find a fifth starter within the organization.
- The Pirates and Reds will swap A ball affiliates next year, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Padres GM Jed Hoyer offered contracts to all of the organization's scouts and player development personnel, according to Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune.
- R.J. Anderson of FanGraphs expects Tim Hudson to be worth the extension he's expected to sign.
- MLB.com's Joe Frisaro lists the Blue Jays, Mariners, Rays and Mets as possible destinations for Jeremy Hermida. The Marlins may trade the outfielder, who should hit free agency after 2011.
9:14pm: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has also heard that the deal will be worth approximately $9MM per season, or around $27MM over three seasons.
6:39pm: Mark Bowman of MLB.com believes the new three-year deal "will likely be worth $24-27 million."
5:22pm: According to FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, veteran right-hander Tim Hudson is expected to sign a three-year extension with the Braves by the end of this week.
"It will be a shocker if something doesn't get finished in the next three or four days," said Rosenthal's major league source.
Hudson spent most of the 2009 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, but went 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA and a 30/13 K/BB ratio in seven starts once he rejoined the Braves. The 34-year-old had a $12MM mutual option sitting on 2010, so the new deal is probably structured around that figure as an annual salary. He has 148 career wins and a 3.49 career ERA.
Rosenthal believes the Braves might decide to trade one of their other veteran arms -- "most likely right-hander Javier Vazquez or right-hander Derek Lowe" -- for a hitter.
The Braves have begun negotiating an extension with Tim Hudson and his agent, Paul Cohen, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman. Under Hudson's current deal, the Braves can buy the righty out for $1MM or agree to pick up a $12MM option that the pitcher can void. But Hudson would prefer an extension.
"Truthfully, I've never even thought that the option was an option," Hudson said.
Bowman says "it is believed" the Braves would be comfortable offering Hudson a three-year deal worth $27-29MM. Hudson had excellent seasons back-to-back in 2007 and 2008 before undergoing Tommy John surgery, a procedure which limited him to just seven starts last year.
Yesterday David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution guessed that the Braves would try to work out an extension with Hudson. If the sides do work out a deal, ESPN.com's Buster Olney expects the Braves to consider dealing Kenshin Kawakami or Derek Lowe.
If the Braves extend Hudson, they'll have made long-term commitments to three starters 34 and older (Kawakami and Lowe are the others).
ESPN.com's Buster Olney breaks down last night's ALCS contest in detail before turning to some rumors. Here they are:
- Olney can see Tony La Russa returning to manage the Cardinals for a final season in 2010.
- Could Mark Mulder end up in Milwaukee? His former pitching coach, Rick Peterson, has joined the Brewers, who are looking for starting pitching. Brewers manager Ken Macha managed the A's when Mulder was in his prime. As Olney points out, Mulder won't be expensive.
- The Braves are determining the trade market for Kenshin Kawakami and Derek Lowe. They're more likely to bring Tim Hudson back if they anticipate a trade market for Kawakami or Lowe.
- Talks with Hudson should accelerate in the next week or so.