Starting pitcher Tim Hudson is now a San Francisco Giant. Two years and $23 million was all it took to detract him away from the Oakland A’s and returning to the Atlanta Braves, among teams that were vying for his services in a demanding market. Hudson, much like the rest of us, isn’t getting any younger, but at 38 years old and 39 next July, I don’t think anyone will blame you if you’re a bit skeptical at giving a 38 year old pitcher a two-year deal. Then again, we are talking about an organization that gave a 37 year old infielder a three year deal, so the Giants aren’t scared to play a 40, especially if that’s what the market has dictated. From reading around the internet, Hudson was getting two year deals from the Giants, Braves, and presumably the A’s as well. Hudson also did not come strapped with a qualifying offer and could be committed to just the right amount of time so as to give prospects Kyle Crick, Martin Agosta, Clayton Blackburn, Chris Stratton, Edwin Escobar, and Ty Blach enough time to get ready in the Minors, assuming they are able to make the climb all the way to the top.
Considering that Tim Hudson’s ankle injury was more of an anomaly and not an elbow injury or a shoulder injury in 2013 certainly kept his value high, and unfortunately for him probably took a year off of his free agent value. Looking at some of Hudson’s peripherals, and conveniently ignoring arbitrary endpoints such as this one (although it is nice) I give you some stats you may find encouraging from Hudson’s shortened season:
- Walk rate of 6.7% was only higher than Yusmeiro Petit‘s of Giants SP that had more than 40 IP
- 3.46 FIP was better than Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain‘s
- As friend of the blog Bay Area Sports Guy pointed out, Hudson has always had above a 55% ground ball rate, which Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt will likely appreciate.
- Is not Barry Zito
On my Excel spreadsheet, I have the Giants dedicating approximately $114MM to eleven players on the twenty-five man roster and three players optioned off of it (Zito, Andres Torres, Ryan Vogelsong). Grant Brisbee projects the Giants to be around a $140MM payroll, and with fourteen players’ salaries left to figure out, that’s not hard to see. Therefore, I would not expect the Giants to pursue any marquee names of the off-season from here on out. Josh Johnson may be as big as it gets, but I won’t believe it until I see it. Should tell you what kind of pitcher the Giants are going for: cheaper due to poorer recent performance, with the potential to give you maybe one good year.
For outside reaction, SB Nation’s MLB Daily Dish has put together a pretty good compilation of what the general opinion of the blogger-world is, and they approve of the deal.
Said this on twitter, but very happy for friend of the blog, Bay Area Sports Guy, for getting the scoop on this deal.
I will let you know what I think of today’s signing in two years. (But really, I like the deal. Good job on this one, Sabes.)