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Tim Hudson, San Francisco Giant

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Consider me shocked, stunned and muldooned. Georgia native and Georgia-accented Tim Hudson will no longer be an Atlanta Brave, which is hard to believe. He's coming to San Francisco, according to reports.

A couple weeks ago, I shook the list of free agent pitchers who might fit the success profile for NL West habitation, and Tim Hudson fell out of the gumball machine. Of all the imperfect solutions, he seemed the most perfect. Extremely tough on righties -- good for Mays Field -- and an extreme sinkerballer -- good for pitching in Arizona and Colorado. But no way he would leave Atlanta or vice versa, I figured.

Apparently the Braves weren't interested. The word is the Giants will pay $23 million for two years, which like everything else this off-season, is more money than everyone expected. By the way, I strong recommend reading this column about "overpaying" veterans into their late 30s and beyond. Time to look at certain crazy contracts in a different light.

Not that Hudson's alleged contract is crazy. It's two years only. Hudson will be 38, and then he will be 39, and then it will be 2016. Assuming Hudson recovers from his ankle injury, he's likely to make this contract pay off easily. Heck, the forced time off recuperating his ankle -- ie, not throwing a baseball for several months -- might make him a wee bit fresher next spring than he otherwise would have been.

One thing to consider: Hudson's value as a sinker baller relies on stout infield D. The Giants have the Brandons (check, check), but Marco Scutaro's aging body could become a big problem when Hudson starts. Bruce Bochy talked recently about giving Scutaro more time off next year, so don't be surprised to see someone else at the keystone on Happy Huddy Day. The other factor is Pablo Sandoval. When he's right, he's a plus defender at third. When he's wrong, he's just plus-sized! You knew that was coming. Tim might want to give Pablo a call and offer a few bonus dollars as a reward for coming to camp in shape.

Being so damn certain about a Brian Sabean move usually dooms me to be so damn wrong, but I'll say it anyway: I love this deal.

 

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