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Tim Hudson to sign with Giants for two years and $23 million — report

Big League Stew

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Tim Hudson's major league career began in the Bay Area, and it reportedly will continue there, 15 years later. The San Francisco Giants, as reported by the Bay Area Sports Guy blog, are on the verge of signing Hudson for $23 million over two years. He'll fit into their rotation among Matt Cain, left-hander Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Yusmeiro Petit.

Yahoo Sports' own Tim Brown confirmed the deal, and Giants assistant general manager Bobby Evans says an announcement is "close."

In a way, Hudson will be replacing Barry Zito, who came to the majors with Mark Mulder and the Oakland Athletics right after Hudson did in 1999. The Giants bought out the last season of Zito's seemingly endless contract.

Hudson, who turns 39 in July, pitched for the Atlanta Braves the past nine seasons. Since breaking in with the A's, he's gone 205-111 with a 3.44 ERA and 1,896 strikeouts in 2,813 innings. His 2013 season ended after 21 starts because of a fractured ankle suffered on a play at first base at Citi Field.

The Giants agreed on a contract extension with Lincecum in October and had been interested in right-hander Bronson Arroyo, but Hudson is the guy. In this excellent Q&A with Fangraphs in 2012 (that's mostly answers), Hudson explains how his pitching repertoire has evolved through the years:

“Today I throw more of a cutter than I do a slider, but I’ve also developed a curveball. I’m more of a sinker, cutter, curveball, split guy now.

“Changing my repertoire has been a gradual thing. As a pitcher gets older, you start learning your mechanics and, honestly, you start losing range of motion in your arm. Your pitches start doing things differently. My slider wasn’t as good for me after awhile.

“A pitcher’s arm speed may slow down a touch, or you may lose range of motion in your shoulder as the wear-and-tear builds up. You hear about pitchers evolving over the years and, fortunately, I’ve played long enough to where I’ve needed to evolve."

Call his career "survival of one of the fittest." It's been a long time since Hudson pitched with the A's. In some ways, he's almost as effective as he was in those days, when he was a perennial Cy Young contender.

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With all of those breaking pitches he throws, many of which end up in the dirt, expect to see a lot of Hector Sanchez behind the plate catching, instead of Buster Posey, when Hudson pitches for the Giants.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him atrdbrown@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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