The San Francisco Giants have agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with right-handed starter Tim Hudson, according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Steve Berman of BayAreaSportsGuy.com was the first to report that the sides were nearing a contract.
The Giants have been prioritizing veteran starting pitching on the free agent market since the end of the season, and considered Bronson Arroyo, Jason Hammel, Ryan Vogelsong, Dan Haren and Ricky Nolasco in addition to Hudson. The signing is the team's second rotation move in the last two months, joining the team's re-signing of Tim Lincecum to a two-year, $35 million contract in October. With both Hudson and Lincecum in the fold, the team will head into 2014 with a starting four of Matt Cain, Lincecum, Hudson and Madison Bumgarner, with a fifth starter to be decided later.
Hudson, 38, drew some degree of interest from the Braves, Red Sox, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Athletics, Rockies, Blue Jays and Orioles this fall, but the Giants have long-seemed like the favorite to land him. As Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle recently reported, Hudson expressed a recently expressed a willingness to head back to the west coast, where he spent the first six years of his career with Oakland.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com, the Athletics finished second in the bidding for Hudson, but were apparently unable to match San Francisco's offer to secure a reunion with the right-hander. Out of the other interested clubs, the Braves and Red Sox seemed to be the teams most interested in signing Hudson. Atlanta reportedly made him a one-year offer to re-sign, but the annual value of the deal was lower than what Hudson had received in the past. The Red Sox and Hudson were said to have strong mutual interest in bringing the veteran to Boston, but the team was likely unwilling to pay as much as $11.5 million per year due to the six starters they already have.
Hudson is currently rehabbing from a broken ankle that he suffered at the end of July, and recently had a screw removed from his leg. He is expected to be completely healthy for spring training, and will pitch in his sixteenth major league season at age-38.
In 21 starts for the Braves in 2013, Hudson pitched to a 8-7 record and 3.97 ERA in 131.1 innings of work. In fifteen major league seasons with the Athletics (1999-2004) and Braves (2005-2013), the three-time All-Star has a lifetime 205-111 record with a 3.44 ERA, 6.1 K/9, and 2.7 BB/9. He has won at least fifteen games on eight occasions, finishing within the top four in Cy Young Award voting in 2000, 2003 and 2010.
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