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Tim Hudson writes letter to say thanks to the Braves and Atlanta

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Here’s a really nice gesture from veteran right-hander Tim Hudson, who left the Braves earlier this week when he agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants.

Hudson decided to submit a letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in order to say thanks to the Braves and the fans for making him and his family feel welcome during his nine seasons in Atlanta. The entire letter is not free — you’ll find it behind a paywall — but feel free to read a couple of paragraphs below.

“When I was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Atlanta Braves before the 2005 season, a childhood dream was realized.  I grew up a Braves fan just a few hours south of Atlanta, and it was hard for me to believe that I was going to actually play for the Atlanta Braves and legendary manager Bobby Cox.  My family was young.  We had a toddler (Kennedie), a baby (Tess), and a baby on the way (Kade).  We were welcomed into the Braves organization with open arms.  Our son was born two weeks into my first season, and our journey began.  The Atlanta Braves are really all that our children know about this crazy baseball life, and we are so thankful for this upbringing for them.”

“And to the city of Atlanta and the amazing fans in all of Braves country…my deepest thanks.  Braves fans are one-of-a-kind.  Your passion to win comes close to equaling that of the players that go out on the field each and every game.  But when the team goes through rough patches, you’re there to encourage and cheer and believe that things will turn around.  In my 9 seasons, we definitely had some very high moments and some extremely disappointing moments.  But one thing that I learned is this – once a Braves fan, always a Braves fan. No matter what.  And as a player, that means more than you could understand.”

Classy stuff. Hudson has strong ties to Georgia and Alabama, so he’ll surely continue to have a presence in the area.

Hudson went 113-72 with a 3.56 ERA during his time with the Braves. He made one All-Star appearance in 2010.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.

Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.

Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.

Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.

Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.