As one of the best veteran starters available on the free agent market this offseason, Tim Hudson is one of the hottest names being discussed by teams throughout the league. Here's a look at some of his suitors:
Hudson has spent the last nine seasons, and a reunion is still possible. According to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the team has offered Hudson a one-year deal worth less than the $9 million that he earned last season. The Braves did not think Hudson was worthy of a one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer, meaning that they will not receive draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere. If he does sign elsewhere, the Braves will likely look to add a veteran starter via free agency or trade.
Even though the Red Sox have six starters ready for the 2014 season, they still seem to be going hard after Hudson. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported last week that the team "really wants" Hudson, and Yahoo! Sports Jeff Passan said that the interest is mutual between the two sides. A Sox-Hudson pairing is a very legimate possibility, and would cause Boston to ship a pitcher--likely John Lackey or Jake Peavy--to another team to make room in the rotation.
The Giants seem to be one of the most aggressive suitors for Hudson so far, and he may be interested in them as well. According to Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Hudson has expressed a willingness to head back to the west coast for the 2014 season, which seems like a good sign for the Giants' pursuit of him. Schulman also previously noted that the team is considering Hudson along with veterans like Bronson Arroyo and Dan Haren, and are looking to add a starter on a one- or two-year deal that may exceed the average annual value that could be achieved on a longer-term contract.
The Royals are casting a wide net in search of starting pitching help this offseason, and Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that Hudson is among the pitchers they are looking at. Phil Hughes and Josh Johnson are among the team's more likely targets, but they could look at Hudson as a fallback option if they are unable to land a younger starter.
With incumbent starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez unlikely to re-sign with the Indians, the team is starting to look at external options. According to MLB.com's Mark Bowman, Hudson is among the players who the Tribe have reached out to in the last couple weeks. It is unclear if they will be serious in their pursuit of Hudson or if the inquiry was pure due diligence.
O'Brien notes that Texas was one of the teams who reached out to Hudson at the beginning of the free agency period, but it is unclear if they will make a serious pursuit or not.
Hudson's other former team, the Athletics, can also be considered an option. The team was among the eight clubs who were on O'Brien's list of teams who reached out to Hudson in early November.
The Rockies are being aggressive early on in free agency, and the Denver Post's Troy Renck reports that they are among the teams who have shown preliminary interest in Hudson. Hudson does not seem to reciprocate that interest, and Renck notes that the team willl likely have to overpay to get him to come to hitter's-friendly Coors Field. At this point, consider Colorado an unlikely landing spot for the veteran.
Much like the Royals, the Blue Jays are looking all over for starting pitching help this winter. They have reached out to Hudson in that quest, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, who warns that Hudson is not likely to be interested in heading to Toronto. In addition, the Jays are also in the preliminary stages of pursuing Hiroki Kuroda and Ervin Santana, and could always bring back Josh Johnson.
Baltimore is looking to fill rotation holes left open by the departures of free agents Jason Hammel and Scott Feldman, and MASN.com's Roch Kubatko reports that they are "keeping tabs" on how Hudson comes back from his ankle injury. The team is not seriously involved in negotiations with Hudson just yet, but may become involved as the offseason and Hudson's rehab progress over the next weeks.