According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Giants have agreed to terms on a two-year deal with right-handed starting pitcher Tim Hudson. The deal appears to be a two-year pact worth $23 million. It seems like a steep price to pay for an old pitcher coming off of a season-ending injury.
Hudson, 38, pitched 131.1 innings in 2013. He went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in his final season with the Atlanta Braves. Hudson is a control pitcher that relies on a high ground ball rate. He had a very average 6.5 K/9 in 2013, a number that is actually higher than his 6.1 K/9 career average.
55.8 percent of the balls that were put into play against Hudson were on the ground, meaning two things: he didn’t allow the home run to beat him very often (0.7 HR/9) and he induced a lot of double plays. As his FIP of 3.46 was better than his 3.97 ERA, his defense may have actually hurt him in 2013. This seems strange when considering his shortstop is the best defensive player in MLB.
Seeing Hudson leave the Braves is something I certainly didn’t see coming. He had spent the previous nine seasons with the Braves after spending the first six years of his career with the Oakland Athletics. To me, it seemed like he would eventually retire as a Brave.
However, one thing we learned so far this offseason is that the Giants are willing to overpay for pitching, as seen with the Tim Lincecum extension. The Giants have lived and died on pitching for quite some time now, so it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that they were willing to give a little extra money to a veteran pitcher that induces ground balls at a high rate.