Hudson update

Hudson extension close to being finalized |

Supposedly, a deal will be announced tomorrow or the day after, three or four seasons. The last sticking point seems to be the nature of the fourth year. Hudson wants that year guaranteed with a fifth option year (based on meeting innings-pitched standards); the Braves want to make that year and the next option years. I’d guess they’d find a way to compromise, maybe with a sizeable buyout clause.

18 thoughts on “Hudson update”

  1. As long as the Hudson’s agent is not Scott Boras, the chance of resigning Hudson is excellent. Now that we have signed up Hudson for five more years, the costs of Meyer, Cruz and Thomas are completely justified!!! Well done JS.

  2. Now that we have signed up Hudson for five more years, the costs of Meyer, Cruz and Thomas are completely justified!!!

    No, this is a separate issue. The Braves could have kept all of those guys and signed Hudson on the free agent market next year. The Braves only got the upcoming year from Hudson in the trade.

  3. I don’t see it as entirely separate, because now we won’t have to pay free-agent-market dollars for Hudson. As someone mentioned on another thread, the Hudson extension is for about the same dollar amount as Pavano’s free agent contract, so I’m guessing we’re getting Hudson for at least a $1.5 million discount per season. That’s money we’ll be able to put to other uses — such as bullpen help, or buying syndicated “Andy Griffith” episodes to show on our absurdly immense video screen.

  4. The Braves just did pay Hudson free-agent market dollars. They had to compensate him enough to keep him off the market. Huddy’s not stupid. If the Braves got any sort of deal, it’s because of a hometown discount, which he would’ve taken anyway.

  5. JC, I think I disagree with you. I like the point you’re making, which is that the Braves still gave up a heck of a lot in this trade. However, it seems simply disingenuous to state matter-of-factly that the month of private negotiations that the Braves won by trading for Hudson hasn’t significantly helped the Braves get this close to signing him.

    How do we know that Hudson would have taken a hometown discount anyway? How few players actually give a hometown discount (as opposed to just talking it up) every offseason — 1? 2? Moreover, having to compensate a person “enough to keep him off the market” is not the same thing as “paying Hudson free agent dollars.” What makes you think those amounts are the same?

    To say that they would have been able to do it next year is one thing, but on the terms so far proposed. I just don’t think that’s right.

  6. I agree with Allen. Money to keep Hudson off the market is not the same as he would ahve got on the market. The Yankees would have offered him 13 or 14 a year, easy, and I doubt he would have taken our 11 offered next to it at the same time, no matter what he says. The trade made this deal possible.

  7. By that logic Hudson IS an idiot. He signs an $11 million/year deal when there is a $13-14 deal sitting there on the table next year. I don’t buy it.

  8. Bird in the hand, JC. One of the keys to this deal is that Hudson will get about a $5 million raise now, and only the team that holds his rights can do that. That ability, and an exclusive negotiating window, are worth a heck of a lot.

  9. I’ll grant that the exclusive negotiating window is worth something, but I don’t think it’s worth that much. And I doubt it’s the difference between pulling or not pulling the trigger on the Hudson trade. I think the trade was good even if we lost him. If the Braves didn’t make the trade, I suspect they would have been able to sign him next year to a similar deal.

  10. Is Dan Meyer and Juan Cruz worth one year of Hudson at a below-market price? Maybe. Despite the John Smoltz trade, teams almost always come out ahead trading prospect pitchers for established pitchers, and that’s what we did. I am not sure if I’d rather have Meyer or Hudson in 5 years (which says a lot for Meyer, frankly) but Hudson’s variance of expected production is a hell of a lot smaller than is Meyer’s.

    An argument can be made, I think, that signing Hudson now avoids a lot of offseason risk: there are likely to be very few top starters on the market next year, and Schuerholtz has identified such a player as a need of the Braves. If that’s true, than signing him now has value in and of itself, and makes the trade a better one. However, I’m not so sure it’s true. Since pitchers are almost all overpaid (according to MGL, who knows these things), you want to find as many pre-arb and early-arb good ones that you can; for the free agents, fewer years is always better. If Hudson scrags his arm this year, which is not likely but certainly possible for any pitcher, we would have been better off waiting till the offseason to consider signing him.

    To add yet another caveat: as a general rule, recent performance is overvalued by teams when they make free agent decisions. If Huddy goes out and wins 20 with a sub-3 ERA, his free-agent value (determined by the top price that ANY team is willing to pay) would go up even if his projected value wouldn’t change much. In that case, signing him to an extension early would potentially save a lot of money. By contrast, if he gives up 50 bombs and a 5.00 ERA, a) we could have had him cheaper in the offseason, and b) we might not want him long term anyway.

    I don’t have the time to think about how to sum up these various caveats and calculi to decide whether trading for and/or signing Hudson was a good deal, so I guess I might as well trust Schuerholtz. He’s pretty smart.

  11. Not all players are interested in taking just the money, JC. It’s not a given by any means that we could’ve signed Hudson on the free agent market, particularly with all of the competition out there, though he may well have been more interested in playing here than elsewhere. We’ll never know how it would’ve turned out, and I (for one) am please about that.

    Here, something that’s in the new Baseball Prospectus rings true. It’s in the Blaine Neal comment (FLA), where they say that you make the trade to add a proven starter every time when only prospects are involved. Meyer may turn out to be great; he may also turn out to be a 4th or 5th starter, doing everything well but nothing excellent. We know what Hudson brings as a #1/#2 starter, and he’s more likely to survive the next 5 years uninjured than is Meyer.

    Cost differences aside — and yes, there is a sizeable one — the Braves had an identifiable need and filled it with the acquisition of Tim Hudson. Charles Thomas is unlikely to build upon what he did when he hit the majors, while Juan Cruz has a ton of talent but only really began to harness any of it this year; it remains to be seen what he does from here. Their two spots can be filled by even cheaper, younger players with just as much ability (if not upside) in Langerhans and Colon.

    They’ve always advocated at BP (and elsewhere) to construct a roster of several expensive, star players and fill in the rest with young, cheap talent. That’s exactly what the Hudson deal allows the Braves to do — take advantage of a deep farm system in multiple ways while adding a known superstar.

  12. Clark,

    I’m not sure how to interpret your comment. It’s also not a given that Huddy will be any good for the next five years. I understand there is risk involved. My point is that evaluating deals with the caveat, “this deal is only good if they sign the player to an extention” is not very worthwhile. I think you should judge the deal by what you give up and what you get. And Mac is right, there are some gains to be made in pursuing a player long-term by acquring a player for the short-run, but I don’t think that impact is very big.

  13. I think the fans would scream bloody murder if Hudson wasn’t signed to an extension regardless of what he may or may not do this year. What I see written here day in and out is about the Braves’ lack of commitment when they get someone good and how they won’t do anything to keep a good proven player. You can’t have it both ways. These are the some of the same guys complaining about not re-signing Drew or Wright that are complaining about the extension being offered to Hudson. You can’t have it both ways, unless all you truly care about is something to whine and complain about.

    Also, if the Braves didn’t sign him and he has a good year, he’ll get $15mm per easy from the Mets, Red Sox or Yankees. Then everyone would really freak out.

    This will bring out a few more fans who see the Braves making moves to contend for more than this year.

  14. “By that logic Hudson IS an idiot. He signs an $11 million/year deal when there is a $13-14 deal sitting there on the table next year. I don’t buy it. ”

    That’s an absolutely ridiculous statement to make. You assume his priorities are to get as much money as he can, which is in fact a dumb assumption. I don’t really see what the issue here is, most would agree without the trade our chance of signing Hudson would be slim to none. The additional bidding that would have occurred in free agency would drive up the value, making the difference between what we’d be willing to pay and everyone elses offers even greater, as well as making that difference harder for him to ignore by placing them side by side.

  15. Also, remember that Hudson will only command $13-$14 million if he remains injury-free and effective. Signing for $11 million today can be seen as an entirely realistic admission that there’s a 15 to 20 percent chance that this won’t happen. As Mac says, bird in the hand.

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