It was incredibly tough to watch one of the most popular former Oakland Athletics players, Tim Hudson, fall to the ground after a grotesque ankle injury that put a sudden stop to his 2013 season. A player like Hudson, who always seemed to play the game the “right way” didn’t deserve to suffer an injury like that. The pain of that injury was felt by the fans of the Atlanta Braves more than anyone, but fans in Oakland felt it quite a bit as well.
Hudson may or may not have pitched his last game for the Braves, as the 38 year old became a free agent after the 2013 season. My guess is that he’ll end up back in his home state of Georgia with the Braves, but interest in Hudson appears to be plentiful on the open market. The A’s have reportedly made contact with Hudson, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, along with seven other teams.
If Hudson were to depart, I would think the A’s might have the best shot to acquire his services for a year. Bringing him in would make perfect sense for the A’s. He pitched effectively over 131.1 innings last year, to the tune of a 3.97 ERA before his season was cut short. A move to bring Hudson back would likely mean Bartolo Colon has proven to be too rich for the A’s following his spectacular 2013 campaign. Interest in him figures to be high, and the A’s may not be interested in getting into a bidding war over a soon-to-be 41 year old pitcher.
The ceiling for Hudson wouldn’t seem to be as high as Colon’s was this past year, but then again nobody expected Colon to put up the kind of numbers he did. A downgrade in numbers from what is supposed to be the back end of the rotation, along with a potential upgrade atop the rotation (Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray) could make the swap something of a wash. Colon replicating his 2013 season is also far from guaranteed in the first place.
For purely sentimental reasons, bringing Tim Hudson back to Oakland would be a joy to see. He was always my favorite of the Big Three. For practical reasons, Hudson’s tutelage could prove every bit as valuable as Colon’s has, and particularly for Sonny Gray, to whom Tim Hudson has often been compared. The move makes perfect sense, for both Hudson and the Athletics.