Atlanta Braves right-handed starting pitcher Tim Hudson is close to taking the next big step in his return from Tommy John surgery. Hudson had the surgery last July 27th, and has been rehabbing ever since, including throwing off the mound in the bullpen recently. The organization has now scheduled him to pitch for Myrtle Beach on July 19th and 23rd. He will then be reevaluated, and could be ready for major league action soon after.
If Hudson's outings in mid and late July are successful, and the club deems him close to returning, this could open up the Braves to trade Javier Vazquez for other pieces that the club needs. I've made the argument several times that Vazquez is our most tradable player (even more than Yunel Escobar), and there are a lot of teams that need to add more starting pitching. The good season Vazquez has had to this point also means that he has likely increased his trade value since coming to Atlanta last off-season, that's more reason that the Braves should trade him if they feel that Hudson can step into the rotation shortly thereafter.