Hudson still hopeful to remain in Atlanta
Count Tim Hudson among those who were baffled by some recent reports that suggested that he’s going to test the free-agent market if the Braves do not wow him with the financial aspect of a contract extension.
When I boarded my flight from Denver to Los Angeles yesterday afternoon, I saw that Ken Rosenthal’s report on Hudson began with this sentence: Barring a last-minute, knockout offer from the Braves, right-hander Tim
Hudson plans to become a free agent, according to major-league sources.
My immediate reaction was that this is just one of the many agent-influenced articles that we’re going to see over the next couple of weeks and months.
When I arrived at LAX and saw a text from Hudson that read, “give me a shout when U get a minute”, I knew that he wanted to clear up any misunderstandings that might be surfacing regarding his future.
When Hudson and I talked this morning, he basically reiterated that his primary desire is to work out a contract extension that will allow him to remain with the Braves. In addition, he once again talked about the willingness to aceept a “hometown discount” as long as his definition is at least close to the one the Braves might possess.
“First and foremost, Atlanta is a place where I’m happy and I believe we have a chance to have a really good team there for a while,” Hudson said. “I haven’t talked to (Braves general manager Frank Wren) yet. But when that time comes, hopefully we can get something done.”
Hudson has a $12 million option for the 2010 season that includes a $1 million buyout. Based on his conversations with Wren, he hasn’t been given reason to even think about how this option might come into play.
“We haven’t even talked about what would happen if they want to pick up the option,” Hudson said. “Truthfully I’ve never even thought that the option was an option. I’d rather have an extension than an option. Now if their idea of a hometown discount is a lot different than my idea of a hometown discount, then yeah, I’d have to see what’s out there for me from the free agent perspective.”
Hudson hasn’t provided a clear picture of what he might be seeking from a financial standpoint. But it’s safe to assume that the hometown discount that he’d be willing to accept wouldn’t be anything like a two-year, $10 million offer.
My guess is that the Braves would likely have to offer a three-year contract extension worth $26-30 million to satisfy Hudson. Of course, to find the financial flexibility to get this done, they may first have to find somebody willing to trade for Derek Lowe and the $45 million that he’s owed over the next three years.
Hudson understands that he may be among the many Major Leaguers who file for free agency once the World Series concludes. But he’s hoping this is just a procedural move that would protect him in the event that a contract extension is not agreed upon.
“If we can’t get a deal done, I think potentially it could be a good offseason for me from the free-agent side,” Hudson said. “But I’m hoping it doesn’t it come to that.”
Clark’s replacement: With Roy Clark leaving to become an assistant general manager with the Nationals, the Braves are now mulling their options to fill his role as their scouting director.
If Tony DeMacio is willing to accept the position, they won’t have to look too far to find a prime candidate. DeMacio has served as a special assistant to the GM for the Braves since December 2006 and is recognized as one of the game’s top scouts.
More importantly, he’s a well-organized and highly-respected individual in the scouting field.
DeMacio, whose first signee was a young kid out of the Boston-area named Tom Glavine, was honored at MLB’s 2008 Winter Meetings as the Scout of the Year, an honor given to those who have spent at least 25 years in the scouting profession.