Tim Hudson joined the Atlanta Braves in 2005, the same year that Brian McCann joined the team. This year, both players find themselves free agents.
It obvious that the Braves will not re-sign McCann as they have a lot of depth at the catcher position, but Atlanta’s rotation isn’t as set as Frank Wren would like. Hudson had been the Braves’ ace for some time, but as the pitcher known for his ability to induce groundballs with his sinkerball turned 38 last season, he didn’t perform as well as the Braves would have liked.
In 21 starts before his terrible injury that we’re not even sure he’ll recover from, he posted a weak 3.97 ERA, though it appeared he was getting his act together right before the incident.
After the loss of Hudson, the Braves’ pitching staff did an excellent job stepping up to the plate, figuratively of course (though Julio Teheran actually was pretty good with the bat this year). Despite the success that the pieced together staff experienced, it became painfully obvious in the playoffs that the Braves lacked and needed a true ace.
While I’m still impressed at Freddy Garcia’s performance in Game 4 of the NLDS (and also still very depressed that it was wasted), the very fact that he was even on the playoff roster is disturbing.
The bottom line is, the Braves need to sign an ace and the likely declining Hudson isn’t going to fill that role. Any payroll he takes up is payroll that can’t be used to find a real ace (or replace that bum Dan Uggla). I hope the front office and Hudson can find a way to keep him in Atlanta, but if they do, it has to be at a much discounted price.
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