Tim Hudson AP

Tim Hudson allows five runs over four innings in second rehab start

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From Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comes word that Tim Hudson allowed five runs on nine hits over four innings tonight in his second minor league rehab start with Class A Rome.

That’s a pretty ugly line, but Rogers notes that he was the victim of a “ton of seeing-eye stuff.” On the bright side, he threw 45 out of 62 pitches for strikes while striking out one and walking none.

Hudson is currently rehabbing from November surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back. He tossed two scoreless innings in a Grapefruit League game last Monday against the Mets before allowing two runs (one earned) over three innings in his first rehab start last Saturday. Barring any setbacks, he should be fully stretched out to join the Braves’ rotation in late April or early May.

Hudson, 36, went 16-10 with a 3.22 ERA and 158/56 K/BB ratio over 215 innings last season. He owns an impressive 3.16 ERA since the start of the 2007 season. Roy Halladay, Adam Wainwright, Johan Santana, Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia are the only pitchers (with at least 800 innings pitched) with a lower ERA during the same time frame.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.