San Francisco Giants Poised To Sign Pitcher Tim Hudson
Multiple outlets are reporting that the San Francisco Giants are very close to signing veteran right-handed starting pitcher Tim Hudson to a two-year, $23 million deal. The deal also includes a full no-trade clause. The deal could be finalized as earlier as late Monday night.
Pitching for the Atlanta Braves last season and the past nine years of his career, Hudson had a 8-7 W-L record with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts, pitching 131.1 innings and accumulating 95 SO’s, 36 BB’s, and a 1.188 WHIP. Hudson’s 2013 season was cut short by a broken ankle when New York Mets outfielder Eric Young inadvertently stepped on the back of his foot on his dragging bunt attempt, causing a bang-band play at first base with Hudson covering.
Hudson is no stranger to the Bay Area, as he was originally drafted by the Oakland A’s in the sixth round of the 1997 MLB Draft, and spent the first six seasons of his career pitching for them. He was there through the height of the A’s “moneyball” era where he, along with starting pitchers Mark Mulder and Barry Zito, anchored the starting rotation for the low-payrolled A’s club. After the 2004 season, Hudson was traded to the Braves for three minor leaguers in return.
This is a great signing for the Giants and a very “Brian Sabean” type move; bringing in an old veteran who will eat up innings while still pitching at an above “replacement-level” level, and who is a great clubhouse guy and leader. Hudson is the type of player guys like having around in the clubhouse and will not disturb the already strong clubhouse culture and chemistry the Giants already have, and two-years at $23 million is not an albatross of a contract for a pitcher of Hudson’s likeness. And being a groundball pitcher, Hudson should find success playing for the Giants, as they are an above-average defensive infield. If the groundballs aren’t coming for Hudson and he’s getting the ball up in the air, he’ll have the benefit of pitching half his games in AT&T Park, where the home run balls goes to die (AT&T Park regular finishes in last for home runs allowed). If the Giants can get 180+ innings and 14 wins out of Hudson in each of these next two years, he’ll more than live up to his contract.
We have seen in the past these types of signings work out well for the Giants, with recent examples as outfielder Pat Burrell, first basemen Aubrey Huff, shortstop Edgar Renteria, all contributing to help the Giants win the 2010 World Series, the franchise’s first title since moving from New York to San Francisco. The Giants had a huge void to fill in their starting rotation and finding a veteran arm on a short-term deal to help bridge the gap until highly-touted prospects Kyle Crick and Clayton Blackburn are ready for the big leagues was a high priority for Sabean.
So the Giants go into the 2014 season with a projected starting rotation of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum, Hudson, and a fifth starter yet to be determined. The Giants recent success was credited to the strength of their starting rotation, and by signing Hudson, its looks like they are continuing to build off that blueprint.