Daniel Hudson impresses in Diamondbacks debut

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Arizona sending Edwin Jackson to Chicago for pitching prospects Daniel Hudson and David Holmberg struck me as one of the best moves of the trade deadline and the early returns are certainly encouraging.
Hudson made his Diamondbacks debut yesterday against the Mets and tossed eight innings of one-run ball in a blowout victory, allowing just three hits and one walk in a 110-pitch outing.
Many people doubt whether Hudson’s raw stuff will enable him to be more than a back-of-the-rotation starter or middle reliever in the majors, but his minor-league track record is excellent and I think he’ll do well in Arizona. Plus, even if he proves to be merely a decent fourth or fifth starter Hudson will be far more valuable to the Diamondbacks than Jackson will be for the White Sox.
Jackson has a no-hitter and much better raw stuff than Hudson, yet he has a 5.16 ERA this season and a 4.74 mark for his career. While the White Sox are on the hook to pay him $8.25 million for that mediocre pitching next season, Hudson will be making the minimum salary in Arizona for the next three seasons and will be under team control through 2015.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds that Saunders will make $1.5 million upon reaching the majors, with a potential $500,000 in bonuses.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.