The Washington Nationals are looking for a consistent veteran pitcher to be part of their 2014 rotation, and Tim Hudson is at the top of that list. The Atlanta Braves have yet to make it clear if they have any plans on attempting to retain the durable right-hander.
They are like the Nationals — stocked with a great deal of young pitchers just waiting their turn to make the big club. So, Atlanta’s interest in Hudson does not seem to pressing. He would, however, be the perfect fit for the Nationals as a calming force on the mound and in the clubhouse.
Prior to his horrific ankle injury back on July 24 in a game against the New York Mets, Hudson remained one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. He made 21 starts on the year though July 24, avoiding any missed time due to injury. Through those starts, he was averaging more than six innings pitched per start, had an impressive walk rate, and was among the league leaders in not giving up home runs.
His dependable, repeatable performance was the template that the Braves used for the other young starters this year, and will continue to do so as they return next year.
Hudson, a 15-year veteran, is coming off a four-year, $36 million dollar contract in Atlanta. At 38, he is likely looking for a two-year deal from his next team. Last season, he was 8-7 before the season-ending injury, but he won 17 games in 2010, and posted back-to-back 16 win seasons in 2011 and 2012.
The addition of Hudson to a staff that has Jordan Zimmermann, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Ross Detwiler as the core starters might not make sense at first glance. However, the addition of the 38-year-old Hudson would serve the Nationals young pitchers well, and he could pass some of that sage-like wisdom on to them like he has done in Atlanta.
He could be of great help to Tanner Roark, Taylor Jordan, A.J. Cole and Matt Purke, who are all going to be competing for a spot on the Nationals’ starting rotation.
His addition to the Nationals’ 2014 roster could only make a good team better in their quest to beat the Braves and regaining the NL East title. He could even have his number because No. 15 belongs to Dan Haren and he is not coming back, so that could be a good omen.