In what came as a bit of a surprise on Monday, the San Francisco Giants have reportedly agreed to a two-year, $23 million deal with free agent pitcher Tim Hudson.
Hudson has spent the past nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves and has, at times, been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. The 38-year-old right hander played the first six seasons of his career with the Oakland A’s and was one of the game’s elite pitchers before being traded to Atlanta before the 2005 season. He is a three-time All-Star and won the 2010 NL Comeback Player of the Year award.
A return to the Bay Area could revitalize Hudson’s career and the Giants have been looking for another starter. The team will let Barry Zito (a former teammate of Hudson’s) go this offseason and righty Ryan Vogelsong is also a free agent.
The Giants have Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner signed long-term, and Tim Lincecum got a two-year, $35 million deal last month.
Hudson went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts this season for the Braves. His season was derailed by a broken ankle that required surgery. He was injured on July 24 in New York, when the Mets’ Eric Young Jr. accidentally stepped on the back of Hudson’s leg while the pitcher was covering first base.
The Braves declined to make a qualifying offer to Hudson, despite the fact that he had won 49 games from 2010 to 2012. Since arriving in Atlanta in 2005, Hudson has racked up 243 starts and has posted a 113-72 record, a 3.56 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP in that time.
The Giants are taking a gamble by signing a 38-year-old coming off ankle surgery, but it is one that could pay off big time.