For a while, it seemed as though Dayton Moore was attempting to build the Atlanta Braves West. Through various trades and free agent signings, Moore seemingly acquired as many former Braves as possible, bringing in players such as Jeff Francoeur, Kyle Davies and Tim Collins, among others. Unfortunately, for the most part, those moves did not pan out as well as one would have hoped.
Yet, despite the shaky track record with bringing in former Braves players, there may be another Braves pitcher that is on the Royals radar in free agency. Despite fracturing his ankle in at first base in a game in late July, Tim Hudson has already been contacted by eight teams, with other franchises expected to have interest in the 38 year old righty. The Royals have been one of those eight teams, with Ned Yost reaching out to Hudson to gauge his interest in heading to Kansas City.
Prior to his ankle injury, Hudson had his share of struggles in 2013. In his 21 starts, he was 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA – solid numbers, but not what one expected from a pitcher like Hudson. Yet, that final stat line does not quite tell the true story, as Hudson appeared to have turned a corner when the calender flipped to July. In his four starts that month, Hudson was 4-0 with a 3.10 ERA, striking out 22 hitters in 29 innings. He had appeared to have regained his form, and seemed poised to lead the Braves to another postseason run.
Now, coming off a rough, by his standards, season and the fractured ankle, Hudson may be a bargain waiting to happen. The Braves also declined to make him a qualifying offer, and while they still have extended a contract offer to him, Hudson may be interested in exploring the market. With Hudson expected to prioritize winning, and having familiarity with both Moore and Yost from their days with the Braves, Hudson may be willing to give the Royals a look.
While the Royals could potentially provide Hudson with a chance at a postseason berth, Hudson could be more than a middle of the rotation pitcher in Kansas City. Hudson could also provide the Royals with another veteran presence, a steadying figure on what is still a fairly young squad. Hudson would also be another player with playoff experience and a history of being on winning ballclubs, helping to bring some of that culture over to the Royals clubhouse.
Tim Hudson may not be the same pitcher he was even two seasons ago, but he may still have something to contribute to a team looking for that veteran starter who may help them reach the playoffs. Signing Hudson to a one year contract with a team option may not be a bad course of action.