The San Francisco Giants have inked veteran pitcher Tim Hudson to a two-year, $23 million contract. He had spent the last nine seasons pitching for the Atlanta Braves and posted a 3.56 ERA and 116 ERA+ over that span.
Now 38 years old, Hudson's 2013 season was ended on a freak, gruesome play at first base when Eric Young Jr. inadvertently crushed his ankle. Before the injury, Hudson pitched to a 3.97 ERA and 97 ERA+ in 21 starts for Atlanta.
Our own Zack Drisko wrote our free agent profile of Hudson a few weeks ago and saw a fit with the Mets' need for starting pitching in 2014. It's not a shock that Hudson got a two-year deal from San Francisco, and the average annual value of $11.5 million seems perfectly reasonable in the context of free agency, as Hudson has been consistent for years.
With the Mets presumably operating on a limited budget, that the team didn't go after Hudson for a similar deal isn't a surprise, either. As for the Mets' rivals, the Braves' top five starting pitchers at the moment appear to be Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy, and Alex Wood. That's not bad, but given Beachy's arm woes, the loss of Hudson only makes Atlanta's rotation more uncertain than it would have been if he re-signed with the team.