There was a time when the Chicago Cubs were among the teams attached to righty reliever Daniel Hudson, but that was early in the offseason, and it was long before the Cubs traded for Wade Davis and signed Koji Uehara. Once those two moves were complete, any thoughts of Hudson would have been relegated to trying to turn him back into a starting pitcher, and even that would be a stretch.
That is all to say, news that Hudson is signing elsewhere is not a surprise:
Sources: Reliever Daniel Hudson agrees to a two-year, $11M deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. News at Yahoo Sports: https://t.co/qMBUx6ojCL
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 19, 2016
Hudson, 29, has had an up-and-down go of it in the bullpen with the Diamondbacks after dealing with multiple arm injuries, but the ability to be a quality back-end reliever is definitely there. The Pirates, having lost Mark Melancon (and possibly Neftali Feliz) from the late innings, needed to add at least one reliever this offseason. Hudson could be a good one. Or he could be a mediocre way to use $11 million over the next two years.
I generally don’t bet against the Pirates and pitchers on whom they elect to spend money, though. In the last half decade, when the Pirates have opted to sign a pitcher like Hudson (and also lower-tier reclamation types), they have a very high hit rate.
The Pirates are in a bit of a tough spot right now, not knowing whether a central piece of their roster (Andrew McCutchen) is going to give them anything in 2017 (or if he’ll even be on the roster), and whether they’ll have the starting pitching to compete in the NL Central. We’ll see if they’re done making moves for the offseason, and, if so, how closely they can stay in the playoff race by midseason.