Meet Your New Giants – Tim Hudson
I loved the Tim Hudson signing from the first time I heard of it. By the end of the offseason, several of the national pundits liked it as well, naming it one of the most underrated or efficient signings on the offseason.
The signing of Hudson might smack of a traditional, detested veteran signing by Brian Sabean, but there are a few mitigating factors here. The biggest is that the contract length is perfect. The Giants have a range of pitching prospects a couple of years away. Edwin Escobar is getting the usual pre-Spring Training hype of being a possibility for this year, and Kyle Crick is a bit behind him. At two years, the Giants won’t be doing much blocking of anyone at all, allowing for a transition to a younger rotation. In all, the Giants have three rotation spots coming up in the next two years (Vogelsong after 2014, Hudson and Lincecum in 2015). There will be opportunities for the young pitchers, right when they’re ready.
Beyond that, Hudson’s the right kind of veteran. Unlike, say, Randy Johnson, Hudson’s effectiveness comes from the motion of his pitches rather than the velocity. A sinkerballer like Hudson normally will remain effective as he gets older. He might lose some quality, but that’d still be an effective pitcher for the Giants.
And, of course, the symmetry with the man he replaces, former teammate Barry Zito, is certainly ideal.
The big question is how Hudson’s ankle will hold up. I hate watching Hudson’s ankle injury, and I imagine it still has a few more Buster Posey-like replays to go through. On this, one can only hope for good luck and good health…but so far, so good. If he’s not ready, the Giants may need to rush someone, which wouldn’t be good news.
Still, Hudson has all those veteran qualities you might want. He’s a good guy who has been on winning teams. He’s made 10 postseasons starts, including a seven inning, four hit outing against the Giants in 2010. However, Hudson’s never made it past the divisional round of the playoffs. With the Giants, he might have a chance to finally do that.
Of course, there’s still those pesky Dodgers to get through.