Hudson passes physical, extension with Braves all but official

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that Tim Hudson “has passed his physical and essentially made his three-year contract extension a done deal.”
Unlike the Rays and Pirates with yesterday’s Akinori Iwamura-for-Jesse Chavez trade the Braves will likely wait until after the World Series to officially announce the Hudson deal, but he’s expected to receive about $27 million over three years.
Hudson’s old contract contained a $12 million mutual option for 2010, but the two sides reportedly worked out a new deal last week and merely had to wait until the insurance company approved a doctor to do the physical exam. Atlanta had strong rotation depth even before re-signing Hudson through 2012, so the Braves seem almost guaranteed to trade a starting pitcher this offseason.
They’d no doubt like to unload the remaining three years and $45 million on Derek Lowe’s contract, but if that proves impossible parting with Javier Vazquez or Kenshin Kawakami are also options. With a front three of Hudson, Tommy Hanson, and Jair Jurrjens in place for at least the next three years general manager Frank Wren has quite a bit of flexibility and the assets to address other areas.

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

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Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.