The once vaunted San Francisco Giants starting rotation was a primary reason the franchise won two World Series titles in three seasons. Its demise hastened the Giants' plummet to third place – with a record 10 games under .500 – in the NL West in 2013.
So it was with the rotation in mind the Giants re-signed Tim Lincecum to a healthy two-year, $35-million contract in October and on Monday agreed to terms with veteran right-hander Tim Hudson on a two-year, $23-million deal, sources confirmed.
Faced with a roster in which the only sure-thing starting pitchers returning were Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner, the Giants needed to fill the middle to back end of their rotation. They believed Lincecum showed signs of learning to pitch without his top-end velocity near the end of the season. And Hudson, 38, was 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts for the Atlanta Braves last season. He fractured his right ankle during a play at first base in late July and was lost for the season. He underwent surgery, recently had screws removed from the ankle and should be ready to pitch by spring training.
One of the Oakland A's overlooked "Moneyball" pitchers from 1999 to 2004, he was traded to the Braves after the '04 season and won 113 games in nine years in Atlanta. His 205 career wins lead active pitchers. He had Tommy John surgery in 2008 and since then is 59-34 with a 3.35 ERA. Hudson is the first to sign from a handful of veteran starters – Bronson Arroyo, A.J. Burnett, Bartolo Colon, Roy Halladay, Dan Haren and Barry Zito, among others – who could be had on shorter deals.
Bayareasportsguy.com was the first to report the agreement.