It has been a foregone conclusion that the Atlanta Braves would most likely have a healthy Tim Hudson in their rotation next season after missing most of this season due to Tommy John surgery.
However, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports is now reporting that Hudson could in fact join John Lackey as one the top two available pitchers in this winters free agent market.
Barring a last-minute, knockout offer from the Braves, right-hander Tim Hudson plans to become a free agent, according to major-league sources.
Hudson’s contract with the Braves includes a $12 million mutual option for 2010. If Hudson declined his end of the deal, he would be free to negotiate with any team.
Hudson, 34, has proven that he is recovered from Tommy John surgery by going 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA in seven starts after rejoining the Braves in September. The Braves are expected to exercise their option on Hudson, but all indications are that Hudson may decline his end of the option is search of a more lucrative deal in free agency.
He would certainly command at least a three year deal worth as much as $36 million dollars or more in my estimation.
One thing that would make Hudson more attractive to potential bidders is that he is not projected to be a class A or B free agent which means that the signing team would not have to surrender any draft picks.
In 310 career starts, Hudson is 148-78 with an ERA of 3.49 and 1,402 strikeouts. I like Hudson, but I’d be lying if I didn’t add that the recent surgery still concerns me.