While the Kansas City Royals‘ search for a new starter continues, we now know that Tim Hudson won’t be part of the team’s future. The veteran right-hander agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the San Francisco Giants this Monday. While some think San Fran overpaid and others think Hudson will help the Giants in getting back to the playoffs, many are failing to realize how disappointing this move is for Royals fans.
Hudson would have been an excellent fit for KC in 2014. No other starter in the team’s price range had as much veteran knowledge to offer or as low of an ERA in the previous season. In 131.1 innings, Hudson was 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA last year. As a control pitcher that induces a lot of ground balls, Hudson would have been made better in 2014 by one of the league’s best infields. Hudson could have brought all that to Kansas City, as well as a winning mentality and a deep well of veteran knowledge to share with the team’s younger pitchers.
The other two often-heard options for solving the Royals’ rotation woes (say that five times fast) would be Josh Johnson and Phil Hughes. Neither of them recorded an ERA below five last season. When you take a look at what starting pitchers are getting paid in today’s market, shelling out $25 million for two years for a highly-acclaimed, veteran starter doesn’t sound like a bad deal at all.
With the free agent market shrinking fast all around them, it seems the Royals missed a big opportunity here with Hudson. Maybe this means the team will double down on their efforts to re-sign Ervin Santana, and finally get a deal done to keep him here. Yeah, I wish.
UPDATE: Johnson has now agreed to a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres for $8 million. Like I said, the free agent market is shrinking awfully quickly. KC will have some serious questions to answer if they can’t get a deal done with someone legitimate, and soon.