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.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

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