The Boston Red Sox are still celebrating their third World Series Championship since 2004 but GM Ben Cherington is already back on the job and looking to improve the team to defend their title. Despite already having six starters Cherington has been connected with 38-year-old free agent starter Tim Hudson.
Hudson, who just had the screw removed from his surgically repaired ankle, hasn’t been cleared to resume baseball activities but is already garnering interest among as many as eight or nine teams and has an offer to return to the Atlanta Braves on the table already. However, given his track record and the fact that teams don’t have to surrender a draft pick if they sign has made him a fairly hot commodity early in this offseason.
It has already been reported that there is already a mutual interest between the Sox and Hudson. Both Jeff Passan and Jon Heyman have reported the interest in Hudson. The problem stems from whether or not the Red Sox have room for Hudson. They already have Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Jake Peavy and John Lackey with Felix Dubront and Allen Webster figuring to get the first call in case of injury.
Of course there is truth to the old baseball axiom about there never being enough pitching and if Cherington is serious in his pursuit of Hudson it would make some sense. Dempster wasn’t anything great and Lackey and Buchholz have injury histories that can’t be ignored. They could move someone like Dempster to the bullpen where he could be an expensive piece. They could also swing a trade for some decent prospects. Or, they could just be driving the price up because the New York Yankees have reported interest.
Hudson has had quite a bit of success with the Braves, winning 113 games and posting a 3.56 ERA and 1.24 WHIP since joining the Braves in 2005. However, he is coming off a bad ankle fracture and at his age it won’t be easy to come back. It isn’t impossible, however. Just don’t expect Hudson to come cheaply. The offer from the Braves is likely a multi-year offer and it will probably take at least a two-year, $24-30 million contract to land Hudson.
Hudson wants to win a World Series and is running out of time to do it. Could that be enough to sway his decision towards the Red Sox? Time will tell but the Sox could be getting another veteran starter to add to the stable.