Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 11/18/13
As first reported by the Bay Area Sports Guy, the Giants are going to sign former Braves hurler Tim Hudson to a two year, $23 million contract. This is slightly higher than the FanGraphs Crowd’s expected price of $17 million over two years, but still in the same ballpark, essentially. And there are plenty of reasons to like this deal for the Giants. Yes, Tim Hudson is heading into his age-38 season, and missed almost the entire second half of the season due to a broken ankle. And yes, the 108 ERA- he posted last year was the highest of his career. There are going to be assumptions that Hudson these factors suggest that Hudson is headed for serious decline. Don’t believe it. Here’s how opponents have hit against Tim Hudson over the last 10 years. Year BA OBP SLG wOBA 2004 0.263 0.318 0.366 0.302 2005 0.261 0.332 0.408 0.324 2006 0.270 0.340 0.435 0.333 2007 0.256 0.309 0.352 0.291 2008 0.237 0.296 0.368 0.290 2009 0.293 0.346 0.422 0.340 2010 0.226 0.299 0.343 0.286 2011 0.233 0.296 0.331 0.279 2012 0.243 0.304 0.361 0.293 2013 0.242 0.299 0.363 0.292 The inflated ERA was simply a product of poor sequencing; hitters didn’t actually hit Hudson any harder last year than they had previously. For comparison, here’s how Hudson’s .292 wOBA allowed compares to other notable free agent pitchers on the market: Tim Hudson: .292 Ervin Santana: .294 Ubaldo Jimenez: .305 Ricky Nolasco: .306 Matt Garza: .312 Bronson Arroyo: .318 Scott Kazmir: .323 wOBA allowed includes the results of fluctuating variables like hits on balls in play and home runs per fly ball, so one shouldn’t take a pitcher’s wOBA allowed as gospel about their future performance, but it does essentially reject the idea that Hudson was showing signs of significant decline last year. This is a case where ERA is essentially misleading, and it should be mostly discarded. Tim Hudson, in 2013, looked just like Tim Hudson in nearly any other recent season. Even more encouraging, Hudson’s strikeout rate bounced back after a decline in 2012, so while he’s still not a big time strikeout guy, that potential indicator of eroding stuff simply doesn’t point in the direction of Hudson getting worse. He’s a strike-throwing ground ball guy who gets the occasional whiff, and that skillset seems to have not changed much at all as he’s gotten older. That doesn’t mean he won’t get worse over the next two years. In fact, we should expect 38-year-old Hudson to be worse than 37-year-old Hudson, because eventually, skills do start to erode. But Hudson can decline from where he’s been and still be a very effective starting pitcher. Steamer projects Hudson as an above average starting pitcher for next season, expected to accumulate +2.1 WAR in 153 innings pitched. If he stays healthy and gets to something closer to 180, that would put him as something closer to a +2.5 WAR pitcher. He’s not an ace anymore, but he’s the definition of a mid-rotation starter. $11.5 million per year for an above average pitcher nearing age-40 isn’t any kind of huge steal, but Hudson’s a better bet for the short term than either Dan Haren or Bronson Arroyo would have been, and the cost of acquiring either would not likely have been much cheaper. When picking between these kinds of pitchers, Hudson appears to be the least risky of the three from a performance standpoint. He might be the most risky from a health perspective, but I’d rather bet on talent than bet on health, given the unpredictable nature of things like breaking your ankle on a play at first base. No pitcher without his warts is going to sign a two year deal anymore, so when you’re shopping for a short term rotation upgrade, you have to pick and choose which flaws you prefer. The Giants chose to bet on a quality pitcher recovering from a fluke injury and continuing his 15 year run as one of the game’s most effective and consistent starters. I’d take that over a bet on Bronson Arroyo’s magical hit prevention or Dan Haren’s xFIP being more predictive than his recent results.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tony Parker hopes to play 20 seasons with San Antonio Spurs

Pagano 'supremely confident' about chances vs. Pats

Nick Saban to Alabama fans: 'Don't have an arrogant attitude'

Kobe on 93rd ranking: ‘Don’t ask me about silly stuff like that’

Boomer Esiason: 49ers have ‘ruined’ Colin Kaepernick

Adrian Beltre ruled out for Game 2 of ALDS with back injury


Parise’s hat trick sparks comeback win in Wild’s opener

Report: Bill O’Brien won’t commit to Texans starting QB

Steve Sarkisian takes blame for USC loss to Washington

Dion Lewis signed extension to repay Patriots for giving him chance

Report: South Carolina to start Perry Orth at QB vs. LSU

Mark Giordano: Flames’ effort in opener was 'unacceptable'

‘Macarena’ used at practice to ready Rams defense for Rodgers

On fandom, leverage and emotional barometers

H.S. QB ‘inappropriately’ touched center, suspended

Harbaugh had troubled UM center move in with grandma

T.Y. Hilton trolled Texans fans with bye-bye wave

Chip Kelly-to-USC hype train has left the station

Blue Jays surprise nine-year-old fan who lost father to cancer

Kershaw-deGrom to rival Arrieta-Cole matchup

Green Bay's deceivingly stingy defense

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Matt Hasselbeck was ‘on his death bed’ before Texans game

WATCH: Jets' Burmistrov lays dirty hit on Bruins' Bergeron

Report: Cowboys ban filming offense in practice with Patriots next on schedule

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

‘Macarena’ used at practice to ready Rams defense for Rodgers

Harbaugh had troubled UM center move in with grandma

Blue Jays surprise nine-year-old fan who lost father to cancer

Name every QB to play in the NFL at the age of 40

Week 5 NFL power rankings

Vin Scully to miss the entire postseason

Putin celebrates birthday by scoring seven goals in hockey game

"Friday Night Lights" writer calls Chip Kelly a fraud

Women in sports this week: Is this 2015 or 1965?

Three reasons each AL team can win the pennant

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker