Tim Hudson will take a hometown discount to stay in Atlanta

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Either Tim Hudson is telling different things to different people, or else yesterday’s report that he’s rejecting his half of the mutual option was bogus.  This from Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who says that he was told the following by Hudson himself:
 

a. He has made it clear – which he did again – that he wants to stay here and will accept a “hometown discount” to stay with the Braves (long as his idea of such a discount isn’t entirely different than what the Braves have in mind); b. He wasn’t under the impression the Braves were or are planning to exercise that $12 million option anyway, so why would he have told someone that they are and that he’s gonna veto it?, and c. Even if they do exercise the option, he’s not sure he’d veto it.

None of that necessarily means that Hudson won’t leave town.  He still will likely talk to the Braves about multiple years instead of the option, which doesn’t seem to be in either his or the Braves’ interests.  He likewise gave himself an out by noting that “hometown discount” does not mean “bargain basement.”  But the overall impression from these statements is that he wants to stay in Atlanta.

Maybe the most interesting thing in the article is O’Brien saying that a three year deal running between nine and ten million a year would get a deal done. That seems low to me, and maybe counterproductive for Hudson.  If he’d take that, it means he really wants to stay in Atlanta.  But it’s a reasonable enough deal that Hudson would be an attractive trading chit in the event of anything other than strong contention by the Braves over that time, thereby increasing the odds that he’d, you know, not stay in Atlanta.  Hudson knows that, I’m sure, so he’d ask for a no-trade clause.  Which the Braves have a team policy against offering.  All of that makes for a tricky negotiation.

But obviously, if a team wants a player and a player wants a team, it’s much better to start off talking reasonable dollars rather than unreasonable dollars, and if O’Brien is right, that’s what’s happening here.

My guess: there will be a lot of back and forth on this over the next couple of months but, ultimately, Hudson will be in a Braves’ uniform next season.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.