Bradley’s Buzz: FoxSports says Hudson to decline his option

Tim Hudson: Having been on the mend, is he now on the wing? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Having been on the mend, is Tim Hudson now on the wing? (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Here’s a a bit of a surprise: Citing “major-league sources,” Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com reports Tim Hudson will decline his option to re-up with the Braves and will become a free agent instead. From Rosenthal’s story:

“The Braves are likely to exercise their option on Hudson, a decision that must be made within five days of the completion of the World Series. Hudson then would be required to decide within 10 days of the completion of the Series whether he wanted to return to the team on a one-year deal. He almost certainly would command a longer deal and a greater total guarantee on the open market.”

Update: Dave O’Brien spoke to Hudson this morning, and Hudson denied the report, saying he’d even accept a hometown discount to remain a Brave.

Until Rosenthal’s report, we’d all pretty much assumed Hudson, who returned only in September after Tommy John surgery, would be content to take the the one-year extension at $12 million or perhaps settle for even less. (According to O’Brien, the Hudsons have just built their dream house in Auburn, Ala.) Hudson was 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA in seven starts upon his return.

But it would seem difficult for the Braves, who already have five other starting pitchers under contract for next season (not to mention Kris Medlen), to commit to Hudson long-term. Hudson is 34, and the Braves just sunk big money into Derek Lowe, who’s 36, and Kenshin Kawakami, who’s 34. And the focus of this offseason figures to be on a big bat for the outfield, not starting pitching.

If Rosenthal’s report is accurate, that changes things. The Braves could be inclined to let Hudson leave and say, “We’ve got our five guys anyway.” And Rosenthal does say “a last-minute knockout offer from the Braves” could change Hudson’s mind. But it’s hard to see a knockout long-term offer on the table, at least for a 34-year-old who has won more than 14 games only once in a season since becoming a Brave in 2005.

As Hudson told O’Brien: “I’ve said all along that Atlanta was the place I want to be and that I’m willing to give them a hometown discount. I just hope when we start talking, my idea of a hometown discount and their idea of a hometown discount isn’t 5 or 8 million [dollars] apart. That’s the only thing that could put a wrench in the whole thing.”

198 comments Add your comment

frosgrim

October 14th, 2009
8:27 am

That is sort of strange for Hudson and puts the Braves in somewhat of a bad position. One of the key strategies going into the offseason is that the Braves could trade a starter for a bat. Loosing Hudson could change this strategy, unless the Braves are confident that Medlin can take up the 5th spot in the rotation.

MattyB

October 14th, 2009
8:28 am

I’m a big fan of Huddy, but this is good news if it’s accurate.

S.C. Smith

October 14th, 2009
8:30 am

The only way to keep Hudson is to somehow get rid of Lowe and (or) K.K. And I don’t see how we can trade either of them without eating some salary. Gotta have hitters.

gordon gecko

October 14th, 2009
8:31 am

Greed is Good!

Cecil34

October 14th, 2009
8:34 am

It figures – none of these guys ever do what everyone thinks they are going to do.

$$$$ above anything, at all costs, no matter if the elbows have been repaired, shoulders repaired, 34 years old, dream house in Auburn, etc.

At the end of the day, it is all about the money.

And the vibe the Braves give off probably doesn’t give Hudson that warm and fuzzy either.

This really means that we must keep Vazquez at all costs. And Lowe is going to have to perform all year long next year.

EDGE

October 14th, 2009
8:34 am

Wouldn’t it be nice to have single owner, like Ted, that way in this situation we could afford to give him a good contract and get a power bat?! It irritates me that the Braves always seemed strapped for cash and there isn’t even a salary cap in baseball! I’m not saying we should spend like the Yankees or Sox, but at least spend enough to get what we need!

chad

October 14th, 2009
8:36 am

Glad to see him gone. He came here with all these high expectitations and he simply hasn’t delivered. Funny how good our starting pitching was this year and he wasn’t really part of it. That 12 million can be used to find a bat. Best news of the day. Pitching dilema is over on to the next problem.

Braves WIN, Braves, WIN, Braves...NEVERMIND

October 14th, 2009
8:39 am

Good, check his mark in interleague play, Hudson SUCKS vs the AL. Save that money and get a power hitter.

Mrs. Chanandler Bong

October 14th, 2009
8:40 am

I’m a Huddy fan (hey, he lives in my hometown) but I don’t think we’ll suffer too badly from this loss, starter-wise. I think it will hurt us from a financial standpoint, since we won’t have leverage to use for trades even though we’re freeing up some (not a lot) of money.

Donny Corleone

October 14th, 2009
8:40 am

Well said, Chadwick.

Maddog

October 14th, 2009
8:42 am

Maybe we could replace him with an effective starter like Mike Hampton.

Tech Tony

October 14th, 2009
8:42 am

If Hudson leaves then the Braves have 12 million or so to fill two needs: an outfield bat and a closer. At 6 mil, I can’t believe Soriano is coming back and I don’t see any real confidence in Gonzalez who also can leave at 3.45 million (or something close to that). This could end up, through free agency, being a two for one trade, and the Braves would be the ones getting the two.

Mark Bradley

October 14th, 2009
8:45 am

Maybe you folks saw this coming. I sure didn’t. I figured Hudson knew he wouldn’t do any better than $12 million next season and would jump at it. But ballplayers — pitchers especially — do love long-term deals.

DHD

October 14th, 2009
8:48 am

The headline guy, once again, has NO clue. Just because he opts for free agency doesn’t mean he’s leaving. We have a better shot at signing him than any other team. Please, get the headlines correct!!!!! How about “Hudson opts for free agency.”

NY Nick

October 14th, 2009
8:48 am

Hudson to the METS??? Quite Possible!!

Stan

October 14th, 2009
8:51 am

I have always been a huddy fan, thanks for the memories and you will be missed…..now lets make sure the $12 million is spent wisely

collegeballfan

October 14th, 2009
8:52 am

I am not sure I buy into this Rosenthal rumor.

Let’s wait & see.

Skeezix

October 14th, 2009
8:53 am

I hope he stays. Remember the baseball maxim-you can never have enough good pitching.

UGASlobberknocker

October 14th, 2009
8:54 am

Hudson has not been a 12 Mliion dollar pitcher in Atlanta, so I didnt think the Braves would exercise that option. I also thought Huddy might take a little less on a two or three yr deal..should have known berrer.Looks like all the talk about him loving to be in Atlanta and close to home was a bunch of BS. money rules with him like everyone else. Let him go and spend that money on some power.

todd

October 14th, 2009
8:54 am

Either Hudson or Lowe needs to go. And, since Lowe has never been hurt the logical choice is Hudson. Older pitchers like Hudson that get injured usually do not bounce back well over the long term. We could sign him to a deal and be paying him to sit next to Hampton at the buffet. I say take the money and sign a good free agent bat.

neo-Carlinist

October 14th, 2009
8:55 am

you had me until “dream house”. that’s like when Mike Hampton said he went to the Rockies because of the “schools” (as opposed the $120 million). as much as I am baffled by the economics of pro sports in general and MLB in particular, this is a nice example of the market in play. Hudson is doing what is best for Hudson (I guess $12 million won’t cover his “dream house” mortgage), and the Braves will do what is best for the Braves (see Smoltz, Glavine…). I’m not a “baseball guy” but it seems to me that this is a win/win. the $12 million will be better used elsewhere. Hey, here’s an idea. If the Braves have $12 million burning a hole in their fiscal pocket, why not give every fan (assuming they draw 2.4 million) a free beer ($5)?

O'Brien

October 14th, 2009
8:56 am

Mark,

In my opinion, the only way the Braves would pick up his option is if they were going to trade him or trade Derek Lowe.

If the Braves trade Derek Lowe, they would be able to offer Hudson a longer term deal for less money. And he has stated that he is willing to take a hometown discount.

McCann Fan

October 14th, 2009
8:56 am

Don’t necessarily want to see him go. Huddy likely has some very productive years left. That being said, I hope management and ownership strikes while the iron is hot and fills needs that could push this team over the edge.

The Braves need a power bat much more than they need a 6th starter, and unless we can keep Huddy while trading Kawakami I think we let him go.

Wren, please get us a 35 home run/100 rbi guy! Please! A .300 average and a decent glove wouldn’t hurt either. Not too much to ask.

XXXVII

October 14th, 2009
8:58 am

I think the Braves should work deal to send Lowe and Jo Jo Reyes to Texas for Nelson Cruz and Neftali Feliz. Then try to sign Huddy out of free agency for like $10M/yr for 3 or 4 years. If Lowe’s traded and Huddy doesn’t sign you plug Medlen in as the 5th starter.

Van Lingo Mungo

October 14th, 2009
9:00 am

Jurrgens…star pitcher
Hanson….franchise player
Hudson….playoff BUM
Vazquez…ditto
Kamakaze…hasbeen
Lowe…somewhere between Vazquez and the Jap

Bama Aaron

October 14th, 2009
9:00 am

I’d rather find a way to keep Huddy and get rid of Lowe or Kawakami, but I certainly understand him wanting to leave and get the money.

doc

October 14th, 2009
9:00 am

there is a market for him to test, he has already gotten silent offers is my guess. long term security doesnt hurt nor will his leaving hurt the braves on their fixed budget, in fact this move helps them.

MAC

October 14th, 2009
9:01 am

He’ll get $30 million for three years from someone. Not saying he deserves it, but plenty of teams are desperate enough. Perhaps the Braves could work a sign and trade deal around his option.

Bob

October 14th, 2009
9:03 am

Could it just be a play by Hudson to force the Braves to offer him a multi year deal. More years at a lower average salary could be a win win for both sides. For all the people saying the Braves are cheap and do not spend enough, perhaps if more fans showed up to games this past year they would have more money this offseason to spend.

Matt

October 14th, 2009
9:04 am

The Braves 2 major mistakes last year that will cost us are D Lowe and Chipper Jones.

Wealth Envy

October 14th, 2009
9:06 am

So a multi-zillionare might have to spend less time at his dream home.

Well, cry me a e-coli infested Chattahoochee river.

Dave

October 14th, 2009
9:07 am

Let him go. No telling what sort of performance we’d get from him, or if he’ll even remain healthy. We still have starting pitching depth, and with Hudson gone, we’ve got plenty of money to spend on some offense.

Doctor Bird

October 14th, 2009
9:07 am

There’s only one reason to leave…. more guaranteed money. He knows his arm might not hold up (ala John Smoltz) and could be finished if he rests his laurels on a one or two year deal. He will be going for as many years as he can….period. Then he can make money while he sits at the buffet with Hampton (as todd so eloquently put it above) when his arm craps out.

Halberstram

October 14th, 2009
9:08 am

The only way this move would be bad is if the Braves would have been able to trade Vazquez for a proven power bat. Otherwise let Hudson leave. He’s underperformed every year since coming from the A’s. People forget that at one time he was a top 5 pitcher. He’s lost what he had and is now just a no. 2 or no. 3 starter, not worth big dollars.

gej

October 14th, 2009
9:08 am

XXXVII, that is the most ridiculous trade I’ve ever seen. You can’t be serious. Zero chance Texas would take that.

PMC

October 14th, 2009
9:09 am

Um… if the last 5 years shows anything it’s that they don’t really have thier 5 anyway. They would do well to offer him a new deal for several years at a reasonable price. A bit of a hometown discount but don’t lowball him. It might be that he wants to see what teams feel he’s worth before signing that kind of deal with Atlanta.

They need all the pitching they can get even if they do fix the lineup somewhat. Derrick Lowe is not close to the value of Huddy.

Derwood

October 14th, 2009
9:09 am

HUDSON WAS JUST ANOTHER HAMPTON, ONLY RIGHT HANDED.

Mark Bradley

October 14th, 2009
9:11 am

Kind of interesting: Even in an admitted bad year, Lowe won 15 games. Hudson has won 15 or more only once as a Brave.

Ostrich Racer

October 14th, 2009
9:12 am

I’m with collegeballfan — I don’t buy it. It doesn’t make sense for Hudson. If it happens, though, it makes Wren’s job easier this winter.

Brian

October 14th, 2009
9:14 am

I tell ya, these trade proposals y’all come up with kill me sometimes. Derek Lowe and JoJo Reyes for Nelson Cruz and Neftali Feliz???? That is the most unrealistic trade I have ever seen! While we’re at it let’s trade Greg Norton to the Cardinals for Albert Pujols…

I know most of you know this, but just a reminder: the only thing we will be able to get in a Derek Lowe trade is another aging player that isn’t all that good but is making a ton of money. Basically just like Lowe, except he’d be an outfielder probably. Forget anyone young, and forget anyone cheap. If the player we get ends up being good, it’s only because he has a big bounce-back year.

Random

October 14th, 2009
9:14 am

gordon gecko (October 14th, 2009
8:31 am): “Greed is Good!”

Yep — your beloved free market capitalism at work.

STRETCH

October 14th, 2009
9:15 am

neo-Carlinist – AWESOME! LOL!

Well he hasnt pitched a full spring or season plus the fact that the economy aint so good, He’s trying to get more than a one year deal and i dont blame him for that.

He knows that this is going to probably be one of the top 3 pitching staffs (one of the top 5-10 without him next year) along with a couple offensive upgrades added to a team that won 15 of 17 and had way too many streaks last season.

Like my man Neo-Carlinist said, that 12 mil is going to be spent. Either way, things will be looking good in 2010.

JJ, Vasquez, Hansen, Lowe & KK/Medlen = 1,000 or more innings still!

renegade

October 14th, 2009
9:16 am

Hudson never really panned out in Atlanta. Wasn’t cost effective not enough wins for the salary. Probally averaged out to 1 mil. per win over the course of his contract. Pitched (played) every 5 days, use his money to get someone who can contribute every day. Surely someone wants to come to Atlanta for 12 millon dollars.

Mikey

October 14th, 2009
9:18 am

Might be time for Chipper to hang it up too…

ChippersLoveChild

October 14th, 2009
9:19 am

This years class of pitchers in free agency is awful. This is a smart move for Tim, besides John Lackey he has to be the second best option out there. Far better than guys like Washburn or Wolf. Go get that money Huddy, this hurts the Braves more than it helps them, and you are crazy if you don’t think so.

David

October 14th, 2009
9:20 am

If the Braves are going to compete, they’ll have to start distributing their payroll more evenly. You can’t cap your payroll at 85-90 million and have 50 million or so tied up in four or five players, like they’ve done with the likes of C. Jones, A. Jones, Smoltz, Hudson, Hampton in the past five years of so. They have conflicting economic philosophies. To that end, Hudson leaving is a good thing. They need to embrace once again the philosophy of 20 years ago: build depth in the farm system and plug holes with mid-market free agents. Take a look at the farm system now. The top three or four prospects match up well with the top three or four in any other system, after that, the quality falls off dramatically and there is little depth. Outside of Hanson, Medlen and Heyward (later in the season) there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between the Braves and the much maligned Mets at the top two levels of the farm system. Lots of teams are competitive using the same philosophy that built the Braves in the late 80’s and 90’s. That’s another thing, back in ‘05 and ‘06, they fell in love with giving full-time jobs to home-grown talent. It was more of an idealogy than out of necessity, though it was somewhat necessitated by the payroll imbalance. It works great when it’s merited (McCann, Prado), but it yields disastrous results when it doesn’t (Francouer, Johnson, Schafer, Davies, Boyer). Start signing competent mid-market guys and let the farm products earn their way into the line-up… andstart developing more farm products. To that end, Roy Clark leaving might not be such a bad thing either. The farm system really has declined in the past four years.

Sugar Bear Blanks

October 14th, 2009
9:25 am

At 34 Hudson has 1-more big contract in mind. He’s not been the dominant starter the Braves had hoped for. Cut him loose.

Use the 12 million and get a much-needed slugger.

There are needs at first and the bullpen as well. No guarantee LaRoche is returning.

Tell It Like It Is

October 14th, 2009
9:25 am

If true, this is great news for the Braves.

Ray Pugh

October 14th, 2009
9:28 am

People it’s Rosenthal–he says stupid things every week. Multiple sources have reported that both sides want Hudson to return, and he will on a 3 year extension with the $12 mil option rolled into it.

Oh, and David, to say our farm system has declined is absurd–if not for the Tex trade, we’d have the most stocked system in the league, by far.

And that’s why they call me Ray Pugh…

smith

October 14th, 2009
9:28 am

Mark, you do realize discussing wins as an important stat for a pitcher is absurd.

Lowe’s stuggles last year were due in large measure to the bad infield defense behind him– and some back luck and bad pitching in spots. If it were me, I’d work out a long term deal with Hudson and move Vazquez for a bat.