Daniel Hudson
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Report: Blue Jays to sign Daniel Hudson

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The Blue Jays are in agreement with free agent reliever Daniel Hudson on a one-year deal, Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported Sunday. The righty previously inked a minors deal with the Angels in February, but did not make the Opening Day roster as a non-roster invitee and was subsequently released on Friday. The Blue Jays have yet to officially confirm the signing.

Hudson, 32, spent his 2018 run with the Dodgers and turned in a 4.11 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 8.6 SO/9, and career-worst -0.1 fWAR through 46 innings. His underwhelming performance was further hampered by a lingering bout of right forearm soreness, which effectively kept him off of the mound from mid-August through the end of the season and prevented him from joining the team during their pennant-clinching campaign in the postseason.

Per Davidi, Hudson will be added to a bullpen that already features right-handers Joe Biagini and Bud Norris, left-hander Tim Mayza, and closer Ken Giles. They may see right-handed set-up man Ryan Tepera return to the ‘pen relatively soon, too, as he is unlikely to undergo surgery after experiencing a troubling case of elbow inflammation. As a whole, the Blue Jays’ relief corps will look to bounce back from a poor showing in 2018, when they ranked eighth-worst in the league with a collective 4.45 ERA, 4.32 FIP, and 1.6 fWAR.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

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Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.