UPDATE: Chicago just announced the Hudson signing and, as expected, placed Morel on the disabled list.
It’s not official yet, but manager Robin Ventura confirmed what Peter Gammons of MLB.com reported over the weekend: Orlando Hudson is signing with the White Sox after being released by the Padres.
And not only that, with third baseman Brent Morel likely headed to the disabled list with a back injury Hudson is expected to see regular starts at third base, where he’s never played in 11 seasons. In fact, the 34-year-old Hudson has never played an inning anywhere other than second base.
San Diego is on the hook for the remaining $6 million or so on Hudson’s two-year, $11.5 million contract, so it’s a low-risk move for Chicago. Hudson hit just .238 with a .657 OPS in 154 total games for the Padres, but was a solid all-around player for the Twins as recently as 2010 and won’t have to hit much to be an upgrade over Morel offensively.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network and FOX Sports reports that the Mariners have acquired starter Chris Heston from the Giants. The Giants will receive a player to be named later, per Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Heston, 28, logged only five innings in the majors this past season as he battled an oblique injury and otherwise spent most of his time with Triple-A Sacramento. Heston was solid out of the Giants’ rotation in 2015, posting a 3.95 ERA with a 141/64 K/BB ratio in 177 2/3 innings over 31 starts.
Heston will be under team control through 2021. He’ll provide depth for the Mariners’ rotation in the meantime.
Joe Nathan‘s agent, David Pepe, says his client wants to pitch in 2017, per ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. “He’s like the Energizer Bunny,” Pepe said.
Nathan, 42, came back from Tommy John surgery in July, pitching two scoreless innings for the Cubs with four strikeouts and two walks. The Cubs released him and the Giants picked him up, and Nathan went on to pitch 4 1/3 scoreless innings down the stretch with five strikeouts and two walks.
According to FanGraphs, Nathan’s velocity wasn’t where it used to be, which is to be expected of a pitcher in his 40’s coming back from major elbow surgery. Still, with teams always on the hunt for bullpen depth, it would be shocking if Nathan didn’t get any bites before spring training starts.