Report: Rockies among as many as 15 teams interested in Tim Hudson

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We learned yesterday that the World Champion Red Sox have strong interest in Tim Hudson, but they are going to have plenty of competition.

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Rockies are among “as many as 15 teams” who have expressed interest in the veteran right-hander. Luring free agents to pitch at Coors Field can be a challenge, so Renck speculates that they would likely have to overpay to bring him aboard.

Coming off season-ending ankle surgery, Hudson is said to be looking for something in the range of two years and $24 million, though the price tag could rise depending on how the market plays out. He did not receive a qualifying offer from the Braves, so teams won’t have to worry about giving up a draft pick to sign him.

The Red Sox still look like the early favorite here, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote yesterday that Hudson is close with David Ross and other members of the team. At 38 years old, he also wants to be in position to win a ring, which is something that the Rockies can’t offer right now.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.