Giants mull over options as Tim Hudson continues to struggle

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Coming off the worst start of his career in a 17-0 loss to the Dodgers last weekend, Giants right-hander Tim Hudson was shaky again last night, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks over 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the Padres. He now owns 9.92 ERA over four starts this month.

Hudson has battled a sore hip of late, but he insisted that it wasn’t an issue last night and believes that he just needs to clean up some things in his delivery. Still, Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com that he hasn’t committed to starting him Wednesday against the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw.

“We’ll talk about it,” Bochy said. “I won’t talk about it now. I was encouraged after (the first inning), how he started hitting his spots. So we’ll see.

Could Tim Lincecum, who put on his anti-Padres cape to throw two shutout innings of relief, be an option?

“Well, either way,” Bochy said. “That’s an alternative with Timmy. He was our starter for most of the year, so he would be an option.”

Looking beyond Wednesday, it’s now likely that Hudson won’t be in the Giants’ rotation if they advance to the NLDS. You wouldn’t have guessed that one when he had a 1.81 ERA through his first 13 starts this year.

Braves sign Marcell Ozuna to one-year, $18 million deal

Marcell Ozuna
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The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.

Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.

It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.

Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.