Tim Hudson (Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports)
The 2013-14 offseason has gotten off to slow start. In fact, calling it a slow start would be putting it nicely.
So far this fall, player movement has happened at a snail’s pace. In fact, even the flow of rumors has even begun to trickle down. Granted it will not last, as it is likely that at some point, the frequency of transactions will likely begin to accelerate.
Today there were three signings that might begin to set the market. And from an Astros perspective I think the terms of both contracts are beneficial.
Tim Hudson, whose 205 career wins are the most of any active pitchers, signed a two year $23 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. Hudson who is coming off a season ending fractured ankle still has a lot to offer and it is likely that there will not be any adverse effects in 2014. Prior to the injury, Hudson was 8-7 in 21 starts with a 3.97 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.
Compared to what starters like Ricky Nolasco and Ervin Santana are seeking, this is actually a pretty reasonable contract. With the addition of Hudson, the Giants now have four All-Star caliber starters.
While we still could be a long way from Nolasco and Santana signing, it is possible that this brings down their asking prices.
With the signing of LaTroy Hawkins by the Colorado Rockies to a one year $2.5 million contract, the first reliever is now off the market. A few relievers like Hawkins is what Houston needs.
There were some rumors about the possibility of Jason Castro being dealt due to the lack of catchers, and now there is one less available backstop. Carlos Ruiz re-signed with the Philadelphia Phillies today for three years and $26 million.
One possibility for the Astros’ rotation, Josh Johnson, does not appear to be an option for the Astros. He would potentially be the perfect buy-low candidate as he is young, 29, and talented with something to prove.
One thing we know that the Astros need before next season is a closer. The market must still be established, and it looks like Joe Nathan might be the one to do it. The problem though, is that the teams after Nathan are all big spenders, and the losers in the Nathan derby will likely overpay for the next best candidate. If that is the case, the Astros might be better off with signing Jose Veras and a few other similar pitchers.