Royals manager Ned Yost is expected to meet with Hudson later this week.
Interest in Hudson is not entirely surprising but a little bit off the radar than the direction some were going with their potential replacement ideas for Santana. Hudson is affordable on a short-term deal due to a broken ankle he suffered at the end of last season while covering first base.
Reports indicate he is progressing nicely and will have a screw removed from his ankle next week. If that goes well then he’ll be allowed to start throwing two weeks later.
Before the injury Hudson, 38, was having a solid season for the Braves. He was 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts that covered 131.1 innings. His 3.46 FIP indicated he was pitching a little bit better than those numbers and that he was pitching better than in 2012 when he had a 3.62 ERA with a 16-7 record.
Hudson is no longer the ace he once was but he can be an interesting short-term piece for the Royals as they groom three young starters in Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy, and Kyle Zimmer. His experience of winning 205 games and starting nine playoff games could only benefit the young arms around him in the same way it has benefited young Braves pitchers Mike Minor, Brandon Beachy, Kris Medlen, and Julio Teheran.
The catch here, as always, is about money. Hudson was not given a qualifying offer so he will not cost the Royals a first round pick to sign, but this also makes him attractive to several other teams, too. Bowman says ten other teams have expressed interest in Hudson, including division rival Cleveland. The competition could push contract demands from Hudson out of KC’s price range.
It wouldn’t make much sense for the Royals to go longer than one year for a pitcher who will turn 39 in July. Dayton Moore also consider the team’s need to have money left to fix issues in the outfield and at second base.
Still, this is an interesting name to keep an eye on as Hudson would be a worthwhile pickup for the right price.