It seems as though the Braves will beat Tim Hudson’s March 1 deadline and sign the former A’s star to an extension. The Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal, no doubt offended that his reportage is reduced to mere bullet points in this setting, wrote earlier today :

The Braves are close to signing right-hander Tim Hudson to a four-year extension worth approximately $48 million with a vesting option for a fifth year.

Hudson (above), 29, likely would have commanded at least five years and $75 million as a free agent after this season, but his desire to play 75 miles from his home in Auburn, Ala., is proving the overriding factor in negotiations. The signing of Hudson would enable the Braves to keep their five current starters together through at least 2006 while allowing top prospect Kyle Davies to complete his development at his own pace.