When the San Francisco Giants signed the 38-year-old Tim Hudson to a two-year, $23 million deal this offseason, they weren’t aware it had the makings to be an act of downright larceny. Let’s compare the 2014 salary of New York Yankees‘ “ace” lefty C.C. Sabathia, and the stats attached to it coming into the Giants’ tilt with the San Diego Padres.
Hudson: $11.5 million
2014: 2-0 / 2.35 ERA / 0.65 WHIP / .185 BAA
Career: 207-111 / 3.44 ERA / 1.23 WHIP / .248 BAA
Sabathia: $23.4 million
2014: 2-2 / 5.19 ERA / 1.27 WHIP / .269 BAA
Career: 207-117 / 3.61 ERA / 1.27 WHIP / .248 BAA
Did I mention C.C. is five years younger? If there is any justice remaining in professional sports, Hudson will soon receive his proper respect due. Harkening back to the glory days of the Oakland A’s big three, Hudson repeatedly took a backseat to fellow staff members Barry Zito and Mark Mulder in terms of upside. Not to mention receiving the same treatment in fantasy circles. Well, only one of the heralded trio managed a prolonged success rate; take a wild guess who.
The aging (like fine wine) righty has punched his timecard and delivered the goods on an annual basis. Throughout his 15 years of MLB service-time, Hudson has only recorded an ERA north of 4.00 a mind-boggling twice. He doesn’t come with the fanfare of Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, or Felix Hernandez, but the new Giants’ backbone deserves ace-like treatment just the same.
The percentage of swings outside the zone when Hudson takes the mound is a telling tale. In 2013, he amassed 32.1 percent; so far this season, that amount has risen to a whopping 36.1. To put that into perspective, the league average resides at 28.9; one of the most lethal sinkers in all of baseball has been on full display.
Has your stat-appetite been satisfied yet? I’ll throw one more on the fire for good measure; and its the one saved best for last.
Coming into Saturday night, Hudson hadn’t walked a single batter in his 23.0 IP. You can now officially tack on seven more stout frames to that total. — A streak which now sits at 30, and a feat that goes unmatched over the last 40 years of Giants’ baseball.
This could very well be the last tour of Hudson’s career and the baseball world needs to recognize every last step of the way.