Red Sox interested in Hudson

Kevin C. Cox

Several teams, including the Boston Red Sox, have shown interest in signing the 38-year-old right-hander.

The Boston Red Sox have shown interest in signing 38-year-old free agent pitcher Tim Hudson, according to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, and Yahoo's Jeff Passan says the interest is mutual.

A 15 year big league veteran and owner of a 55.3 career WAR, Hudson is currently recovering from a fractured ankle that he obtained in a run in at first base at New York's Citi Field in July. Fortunately, Hudson has had his surgical screws removed from his ankle (via David O'Brien), and his recovery appears to be on track, with the right-hander likely to begin throwing off a mound by the end of the month.

Before his injury, Hudson had posted a respectable 3.97 ERA in just over 130 innings pitched in 2013. Since joining the Braves following a trade from Oakland, Hudson has been a staple in Atlanta's rotation, averaging 175 innings pitched per season, a WAR of 3.0, and an ERA of 3.56. He has won at least 16 games four times as a Brave, and was named to the NL's All-Star squad in 2010.

Up to a dozen teams have supposedly reached out to the former 20-game winner, including the Royals, Indians, Giants, Rangers, Rockies, Red Sox, Braves, and Athletics, whom originally drafted him in the 6th round of the 1997 draft. Without draft pick compensation attached to him, Hudson could be in line for a multi-year deal despite his advanced age and possible injury concerns, with sources telling Passan that Hudson could receive a deal in the range of two years, $24 million.

Though it's not hard to imagine why a team would seek to sign Hudson, the Red Sox are a rather intriguing option as they currently have a plethora of starting pitching depth. In Jon Lester, John Lackey, Ryan Dempster, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, and Felix Doubrant, the Sox already have 6 very capable starters under contract for 2014. Of course, that's not even including the many high-end pitching prospects in Boston's system that are near big league ready. Brandon Workman, Allen Webster, and Rubby De La Rosa have each already reached the majors, and former first round picks Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo should be expected to reach Boston sometime next year. As evidenced, the Red Sox don't necessarily need Hudson, so they would most likely be better off allocating their resources elsewhere.

At the moment, the team with the best chance of contending in 2014 that could actually use Hudson is the organization in which he has spent the last 9 years with. With Hudson, Paul Maholm, and Freddy Garcia all granted free agency last week, the Braves have just 4 starting pitchers under contract for 2014, with one of them (Brandon Beachy) having made just 5 starts since coming back from Tommy John surgery in late July, and a lack of starting-caliber arms in the upper minors. Hudson would slot in nicely behind Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, and Julio Teheran, giving Atlanta a loathsome quartet. The Braves have clearly shown interest in bring back Hudson, having already made him an offer to return.

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