Baggarly: Hudson will be great influence on Giants pitchers
Tim Hudson passed his physical on Monday, making his two-year, $23 million deal with the Giants official. (USATSI)
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Tim Hudson’s surgically repaired ankle must’ve checked out – along with everything else attached to him.
The Giants’ two-year, $23 million deal with Hudson is official, club vice president Bobby Evans confirmed. Hudson was in the Bay Area for a physical Monday and was scheduled to catch a red-eye flight back to his home outside Atlanta, sources tell us.
[RELATED: Giants, Hudson agree on a two-year deal]
The club will announce the deal on Tuesday, Evans said. Hudson will receive $11 million next season and $12 million in 2015, I’m told. He also receives a full no-trade clause.
Hudson, 38, had surgery in late July after he fractured his ankle when Eric Young Jr.
inadvertently stepped on him while he was trying to cover first base. Before that, Hudson was having another solid season and was on his way to throwing 200 innings for the ninth time in his career.
He joins a rotation that includes two fellow bulldog personas in Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner. Hudson also figures to develop a solid rapport with Tim Lincecum, who took strides in learning to pitch with diminished fastball velocity last season.
As a fellow undersized right-hander who lives at the bottom of the strike zone, Hudson should be a tremendous influence on Lincecum. That was among the reasons the Giants went hard after him. Mostly, though, they see a pitcher who is durable, reliable and will give them an excellent chance to win every fifth day. He also fit their template because he won’t require draft compensation and he wasn’t looking for a long-term deal.
From what sources tell me, the Giants weren’t 100 percent certain they had the highest offer for Hudson. The A’s also went hard after him and might have come close to matching the money the Giants put on the table. But Hudson told Giants officials that his first choice was to pitch at AT&T Park and try to advance past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his career.
Pitching in the Giants’ spacious park should only help Hudson, but to get the most on their investment in him, the club simply must play cleaner defense than they did in 2013. Hudson had the benefit of pitching for some fine defensive clubs in Atlanta.
The Giants now have roughly $140 million committed for next season but still have room to address other needs, I’m told. Next on the list should be left-hander Javier Lopez; a source tells me that there has been progress made in talks to retain him even though the Washington Nationals are a powerful lure.
The club also is eyeing a No.5 starter and it could be Ryan Vogelsong – especially if Bronson Arroyo is insisting on a contract that comes close to matching Lincecum’s two-year, $34 million deal.
As for left field? Well, the Giants don’t like any of the free-agent options out there and aren’t planning any grand expenditures. They’ll try to work the trade market at the winter meetings next month, and could end up settling for a platoon partner with Gregor Blanco, I’m told. There are a few left-handed options out there as well, including the Orioles’ Nate McLouth.
Giants catcher Buster Posey and reliever George Kontos spoke with Giants In-Game reporter Amy Gutierrez about Hudson joining the Giants:
"Excited Tim will be in a Giants uniform next year. From playing against him in the past it's apparent that he is a great competitor, and will fit in great with our rotation. His track record speaks for itself," said Posey.
"I'm very excited about Tim joining our rotation. He's a guy who has had a long successful career and most importantly he is a winner. He's going to take the ball every 5th day and give us a great opportunity to win. I'm looking forward to him being part of our team for the next 2 years," said Kontos.