Tim Hudson, Giants agree to two-year, $23 million deal

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Not only did the Giants hang onto Tim Lincecum, re-signing him to two-year, $35 million, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that they’re agreed to a deal with free agent right-hander Tim Hudson. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com says it’s a two-year, $23 million contract.

Hudson is coming back from a fractured ankle that ended his season in July, but before the injury he was having another strong season at age 37 with a 3.97 ERA and 95/36 K/BB ratio in 131 innings.

He’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA in 13 of his 15 seasons in the majors and has a 3.44 career ERA, including a 3.56 mark in nine years with the Braves. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Braves initially offered Hudson a one-year deal to return, but later added a second year that still fell short of the Giants’ offer.

UPDATE: Here’s an interesting little twist. Buster Olney of ESPN.com says the A’s, not the Braves, finished runner-up in the Hudson bidding. Hudson was drafted by Oakland and pitched for the A’s from 1999-2004, when he was traded to the Braves.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.

Cardinals activate Adam Wainwright from the disabled list

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The Cardinals announced ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Reds that pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list.

Wainwright, 36, has been absent since mid-August due to a right elbow impingement. The Cardinals plan to use him out of the bullpen through the end of the season. Prior to the injury, the right-hander posted a disappointing 5.12 ERA with a 96/44 K/BB ratio in 121 1/3 innings.

Wainwright is under contract for one more year at $19.5 million before becoming eligible for free agency.