Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tim Hudson a good move for Giants, Javy Lopez close to deal

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We're picking up speed here.

Seemingly out of left field, Tim Hudson is a Giant, and I for one am pleased.

How can you go wrong with A) a proven competitor and good pitcher and B) a two year deal?

Yes, he's getting long in the tooth at 38, but he's still in great shape, should be fully recovered from his season-ending ankle injury last season, and he flat out knows how to pitch. With the starting pitching market in its currently absurd state, two years, $23MM for a 38 year old like Huddy seems like a not-so-bad proposition when compared to the 4 year hamstringing albatrosses in the $60MM range stiffs like Edwin Jackson and Ryan Dempster got and Ricky Nolasco will likely get.

Yep, that's where we are in baseball. We're to the point when $11.5MM a year for a 3rd/4th starter is a bargain. I don't know how we ended up here, but it just is what it is.

It's also a bargain when compared to Tim Lincecum, who will make a whole lot more for, as of now, worse statistics.

With Hudson, the Giants get a guy who knows how to pitch. Throughout his career, he's done a great job mixing speeds, and throwing a variety of pitches to keep hitters guessing. He's only lost a mile and a half on his fastball since 1999, and hasn't had a BB/9 average higher than 3 since 2006.

Most recently, Hudson had a 1.19 WHIP and opponents only hit .246 against him. Also, he has allowed a total of 56 HRs since 2006. In comparison, Lincecum has given up 110 round trippers... and he didn't make it to the majors until 2007.

So yeah, Tim Hudson is pretty damn good for an old guy I'd say.

How much of that plays into the fact that the Oakland Coliseum and Turner Field are cavernous pitcher's parks? Well, that's a valid argument to a certain extent.

Career stats have Hudson with a 3.04 ERA at home and a 3.82 ERA away. In 2013, the splits were sharply different with Hudson posting a 2.83 ERA at Turner and a 4.86 ERA elsewhere. 2012 seems to be a bit of an anomaly, with a lower ERA on the road, but 2011 sticks to the script, with 2.31/4.57 home/away splits.

The good news here is that he's pitching to another massive outfield like Atlanta and Oakland. There are trips to San Diego and LA to look forward to. But there's also Phoenix and Denver too... so let's hope these splits don't get too crazy. He's had only 2 seasons since 2002 where he's pitched better on the road.

Let's not make too, too much of this though. Many players pitch better at home. Just something to keep an eye on during those hot weather trips to the bandboxes of America's Heartland in the middle of the season.

Then there's the intangibles. Hudson is a hard-working guy who has refined his craft over the years and really hasn't dropped off at all, like many do at his age and with the amount of miles on his arm. He's yet another Southerner that will immediately fit in with leaders Cain, Posey, and Bumgarner, and here's the kicker: he wants to be here.

This isn't a high-bidder take all thing like Albert Pujols. Hudson expressed interest in being here, and he may have taken a lower offer to make that happen. It's a rarity these days, but I just love hearing that. Especially because the Giants have had a seriously difficult time wooing free agents in the past.

Buy hey, what pitcher wouldn't want to pitch for us? It's damn near impossible to give up a home run and you get to throw to Buster Posey. When his contract expires after 2015, hopefully some of our young arms will be ready to go. Sounds like a pretty sweet plan to me.

Welcome aboard sir!

Lopez near deal?

Bobby Evans told Jim Bowden that the Giants are about to re-sign Javier Lopez. Check out the MLBTR article here.

This is a great deal at nearly any cost. Lopez is as reliable as they get, and the Giants' bullpen would've been severely weakened if he had left. Unlike Jeremy Affeldt, Lopez can be counted on.

Now about that left fielder...

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