The Giants announced yesterday that they had signed 38-year old veteran right-hander Tim Hudson, to a 2-year, $23 million deal to shore up their starting rotation, which is currently comprised of Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum. This is a great move for the Giants. He doesn’t come cheap, but when you consider his salary and performance compared to what Zito and even the last two years of Lincecum have given the team for their salaries, it’s most likely going to be a better deal. Hudson may also be a mentor to Lincecum, with a similar fastball velocity and having learned to pitch to his strengths and hitters’ weaknesses. Hudson owns a career 3.44 ERA, and the last 3 years his ERA has ballooned (3.22, 3.62, 3.97), which may be cause for some concern, although last year’s freak ankle injury cut short his season. Even a 3.97 ERA puts him ahead of 2013 Lincecum, Vogelson, and Zito.
That just leaves the 5th starter for a team that has won 2 out of the last 4 World Series (one reason Hudson signed with SF, he wanted to get past the first round, an affliction of the Braves). Within the organization, they only have Yusmeiro Petit to look towards, but they can still reach out and, for relatively cheaply, sign Chad Gaudin and/or Ryan Vogelsong. Now, there are rumors that Vogey is quite miffed by the Giants declining the $6.5 million option, but after last year’s disappointing season, you can’t blame the team. They still can sign him for a smaller amount, but it remains to be seen whether or not he would accept that or similar dollars elsewhere. Bronson Arroyo has also been rumored to be quite interested in signing with the Giants, but is looking for Lincecum-type salary ($17 million/yr) and has been quite vocal at only entertaining a 3 year deal, not 2. This is a stretch for the Giants. They have the cash for him, but it may not be wise to extend it to 3 years, and the cash may be better suited to a free-agent outfielder acquisition or later for a mid-year trade/cash deal. Arroyo’s ERA hovered near 4.00 the last 2 years, and was a stratospheric 5.38 in 2011.
Giants’ Assistant GM Bobby Evans has indicated that they may not make a move for an outfielder this offseason, but both he and Sabean have been clear about acquiring another starting pitcher. This is not for a lack of cash, they have about $140 million committed so far for 2014, and can spend a bit more, but there is currently a lack of outfielder supply. They may be better served waiting for a mid-season trade to pick up a hot outfielder for cash and prospects. Sabean has also said that Posey will not make the move to first base this year. This nullifies some fantasies of Posey moving to first base and Belt to left field. This may happen on an occasional basis, of course, but not as a permanent solution. I personally think it’s a bit too early to move Posey. He’s too valuable behind the dish, and has melded quite well with the staff. He may be just an average first baseman, both statistically and defensively.
Of course, they could always sign Brian McCann to don the tools of ignorance, and then make the Posey/Belt shift. Hmmmm…..
Hot stove is heating up!