Tim Hudson has been a model of consistency. In his 15-year career, he owns a lifetime 3.44 ERA and is usually a sure bet to turn in 180-plus quality innings each year. The 38-year-old’s fastball velocity isn’t what it used to be, but he has retained the command, movement, and guile that have made him an effective starter and ground ball machine.
In 2013, Hudson had a record of 8-7 and sported a 3.97 ERA in 131⅓ innings. Hudson got off to a slow start and had a 5.37 ERA through June 1, but he righted the ship and posted a 2.73 ERA in his last 10 outings. He appeared to be on track for another strong year, but his season was cut short July 24 when he broke his ankle in a freak accident (video is not for the faint of heart). The injury came against the Mets—Eric Young Jr. accidentally stepped on Hudson’s ankle while he was covering first. The injury required surgery and ended Hudson’s season, but he is expected to be recovered by November.
Hudson has earned $9 million per year from the Braves for the past four years, and it’s likely he’ll fetch something similar, weighing the value of starting pitching on the free agent market with his advanced age and injury.
Provided Hudson can find it within himself to forgive Young for ruining his ankle and 2013 season, he could be a good fit for the Mets. He would solidify a Mets rotation that has been depleted by injuries to Matt Harvey and Jeremy Hefner, and Sandy Alderson has already expressed the desire to add an arm to the rotation.
Hudson will be 39 by midseason and is coming off an injury (albeit non-pitching-related), but he’s also one of the more effective guys available and hasn't shown signs of falling off. With Harvey and Hefner out and prospects Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard knocking on the door, the Mets could benefit from signing Hudson to a one-year deal to hold down the fort in 2014.