Report: Braves' Hudson likely to decline $12 million option

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It sure blows Dave O’Brien’s theory out of the water, doesn’t it?
Then again, we already knew that O’Brien hadn’t thought this through very well.
According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Hudson is set to decline his half of the $12 million mutual option the Braves hold on his contract and become a free agent.
The news comes in spite of the fact that Hudson recently built a house in Auburn and would surely prefer to stay with the Braves.
A deal may yet be struck, but Hudson has no reason to settle for a one-year pact when teams from both leagues should be very interested in his services. I rate Hudson as the winter’s No. 6 free agent and No. 2 pitcher behind John Lackey. Because he recovered his stuff so quickly after Tommy John surgery, he could be looking at something like $50 million for four years this winter.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.