Tim Hudson is probably coming back to Atlanta

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And that’s without the Braves even exercising his $12 million option, according to the AJC’s Dave O’Brien:

Huddy is a great teammate, beloved in the clubhouse, and he and his
wife do terrific stuff in the community through their foundation. They
have put down roots here, and have finally finished, or nearly
finished, the dream house they built in Auburn, where he went to school.

There’s no doubt in my mind he’d take quite a bit less than $12 mill
per season to stay here in a multi-year extension, probably less than
$10 mill per. And I don’t think any other team would offer him even
that much right now, not until he’s back for a full, healthy and strong
season.

“No doubt in my mind,” says O’Brien. I know a reporter who will remain nameless who told me that the only time good reporters say stuff like that — and O’Brien is a good reporter — is when they have some inside dish that they can’t quite report yet. Makes them seem prescient, you know. My guess is that O’Brien is privy to some informal talks between Hudson and the Braves, or at the very least has had Hudson tell him that, damn skippy, he’s staying in Atlanta no matter what the Braves do with his option.

As O’Brien notes, that leaves the question of what to do about Javier Vazquez up in the air. The conventional wisdom this summer has been that the Braves keep either Hudson or Vazquez, not both.  As a Braves fan my hope would be both, because you can never have too much starting pitching (ask Boston). But there are worse things in the world to have a sub-$10 million Tim Hudson on the team and a near Cy Young-quality starter on the block to fill holes.

Either way, the 2010 Braves may be the early favorites in the NL East.

The Mariners and Cardinals make a minor trade

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The Seattle Mariners and the St. Louis Cardinals have made a minor trade. Seattle has acquired lefty Marco Gonzales from the Cardinals in exchange for outfielder Tyler O’Neill.

Gonzales, the Cardinals’ first round pick out of Gonzaga back in 2013, is in his first season back from Tommy John surgery. It’s been a good season, in which he has posted a 2.78 ERA and 64/17 K/BB ratio over 74.1 innings across two minor league levels. He’s pitched one game for St. Louis this year and got shelled, but we’ll leave that go.

O’Neill is a third rounder from 2013. He has hit .269/.344/.505 in five minor league seasons. He’s holding his own in Triple-A this year, smacking 19 homers in 93 games.

Topps has eliminated Chief Wahoo from both new and throwback card designs

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I’ve been out of the baseball card game for a good long time, but despite this — maybe because of this — I enjoy the posts from SABR’s Baseball Card Committee. A lot of that is old time stuff that old men like me enjoy — check out the airbrushing on the “Traded” cards! — but they talk about new cards too. Definitely worth your time if cards are now or have ever been your bag.

Today there’s an interesting post, pointing out something most of us wouldn’t have otherwise noted: Topps has dropped Chief Wahoo from Indians card designs. They’re doing it for the old Braves “screaming Indian” logo as well, though the Braves no longer use that themselves.

They’re not airbrushing these logos out of photos of players — that would be Orwellian even for my extreme Wahoo-hating tastes — but in card designs which have team logos, Topps is using the block-C logo, not Wahoo, and the Braves “A” logo in place of the old logo. This includes throwback issues like the Heritage sets which put modern players on card designs from the 1950s-1960s and on simple retro designs like their 1987 variations. Any cards which once featured Wahoo on the border or on the back now features the block-C.

As you may or may not know, Topps is now the official card producer for Major League Baseball. As such, I take their doing this as a sign that MLB is continuing the slow process of de-Chiefing in whatever areas it has ultimate say.

Now if only the Indians themselves would get on board.