With the latest news coming out of Atlanta that the Braves will not give starting pitcher Tim Hudson a qualifying offer, the veteran has options to play with. That said, should the Milwaukee Brewers be in the running for Hudson or should they back away from making a deal with him?
The one thing that might drive people away from Hudson, especially as a starter, would be his age, but it doesn’t seem like he’s slowing down at all. Hudson, who is 38-years-old, has had quite the career with very few blemishes between both the American and National Leagues.
In 2013, Hudson did have a shortened season with only 21 starts, but the only reason why he missed time this season was in a freak accident in July. During one of his starts, he covered first base and the New York Mets’ Eric Young Jr. stepped on his ankle which led to a fracture. Hudson is expected to come back for the 2014 season and it very well could be without the Braves, his home team since 2005.
Even at his age, Hudson is still one of the strongest starters in baseball and someone who could really sift through the mess the Brewers find themselves in after this year. During his 21 starts this season, Hudson was 8-7 with an ERA of 3.97 and a WHIP of 1.188 in 131.1 innings. Despite his ERA that touched just under 4.00, Hudson did post a FIP of 3.46 and an xFIP of 3.56, which were both better than last year. Of course, it’s in less innings pitched, but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t know that a few more starts would have changed those numbers drastically.
Hudson’s not a huge strikeout pitcher, only having a K/9 of 6.5, which was actually up from 2012’s 5.1, but he’s stingy with batters who only hit .245 against him this year. His bread and butter is the ground-out ball, which he relied on 55.8 percent of the time while fly outs accounted for 26.6 percent of his outs. Walks also aren’t much of an issue with Hudson as he only allowed 36 free passes (or 6.7 percent) in 2013. Strangely enough, hitters did accrue a BABIP of .281 against him, which might explain the highest rise in his ERA since 2006.
It’s true that Hudson wasn’t necessarily as sharp in 2013 like he was in the previous few years in Atlanta, but he still made quite the impact nonetheless. In Milwaukee, Hudson could make an even greater impact if he were to become a part of a rotation that is trying to find its way. Of course money might be an issue for the Brewers who splurged $33 million on Kyle Lohse and still owe injured second baseman Rickie Weeks $11 million for the last year on his contract alongside deals with Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez.
Hypothetically, yes, Hudson makes perfect sense for Milwaukee, but in reality it’s a long shot. Despite his age, Hudson is still defying the odds and freak accidents aside, he’s still worthy of top spot in nearly any rotation. The Brewers could try to make an offer for Hudson, but it’s probably doubtful they’ll be able to snag him.