Daniel Hudson’s strong season is drawing trade attention from the Red Sox and multiple other teams, MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports (Twitter link). The Blue Jays signed Hudson to a one-year, $1.5MM contract over the offseason, and the 32-year-old is on pace to deliver his best season as a relief pitcher, with a 2.72 ERA, 8.8 K/9, and 2.00 K/BB rate over 43 innings. The Red Sox are known to be looking at the high end of the bullpen market, though it isn’t surprising that they would also be seeking out pitchers like Hudson, who wouldn’t cost nearly as much in the way of prospects.
Hudson’s performance comes with some red flags, however, as ERA predictors (4.46 FIP, 5.51 xFIP, 4.67 SIERA) hint that Hudson is due for some major regression, and he is allowing a lot of hard contact — 40% of Hudson’s balls in play are hard-hit. On the plus side, Hudson’s fastball velocity and spin rate both rank in the 89th percentile or better of all qualified pitchers, so a lot of that hard contact is going for naught (or is being converted into relatively harmless fly balls, as his 47.5% fly ball rate is well above his 39.2% career average).
Here’s more out of Toronto….
- In another tweet from Morosi, Eric Sogard is getting some looks from teams in search of a utilityman, especially clubs turned off by the Royals’ “crazy” asking price on Whit Merrifield. Sogard is another unheralded offseason signing who has become a big contributor for the Jays, with a .305/.369/.491 slash line (128 wRC+) and 10 homers over 304 plate appearances. MLBTR’s Jeff Todd recently explored how Sogard’s unexpected power surge has been something of a mirage, though Sogard’s solid contact skills and defensive versatility make him an asset even if his bat cools off. He has worked mostly as a second baseman this year, though also with time at third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions.
- The Blue Jays are facing a decision about Dalton Pompey, Sportsnet.ca’s Arden Zwelling writes, as Pompey’s 20-day injury rehab assignment is up on Monday. Since Pompey is out of options, the Jays have to either call the outfielder up to the majors, or designate him for assignment. It isn’t out of the question that Pompey could come through DFA limbo without being claimed, Zwelling notes, as other teams might also not want to spend a 25-man roster spot on his services. Once a consensus top-50 prospect prior to the 2015 season, Pompey has fallen off the radar after several injury-plagued years, including multiple concussions. He only returned to action in early July after suffering another concussion during Spring Training.