Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Royals Secure Luke Hudson To One-Year Contract

According to the Kansas City Star, the Royals and pitcher Luke Hudson have agreed on a contract which would secure the right-hander in Kansas City through this season. From the article:

The Royals and pitcher Luke Hudson agreed on a one-year deal worth a little more than $500,000 on Tuesday, avoiding arbitration.

It’s a raise from the $422,000 Hudson made in 2007 when a shoulder injury limited him to just one start. Hudson underwent surgery in June but is expected to be recovered enough to compete in spring training.

“When he’s healthy, he’s got some pretty dynamic stuff,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “The quality of his pitches is very good. We’re counting on him coming in here and competing for a job.”

Hudson first suffered the problems in spring training, and made four minor-league rehab starts before a disastrous season debut on May 9 in which he gave up five runs in two-plus innings in a 17-3 loss to Oakland. Hudson underwent surgery in June. He was projected to be the Royals’ No. 3 starter after going 6-3 with a 4.79 ERA in 15 starts in 2006.

The Royals have seven players still facing arbitration: John Buck, Jorge De La Rosa, Esteban German, Ross Gload, Jimmy Gobble, Zack Greinke and Mark Teahen.

The Royals and Dayton Moore scored a nice bargain, securing the swingman at a below-market value contract, in my opinion. Obviously, this probably won't be a significant move for the Royals in the long run, as the 30-year old's upside, at this point, is probably that of a competent swingman, capable of providing league-average results toward the front of the bullpen and back end of the rotation. At most, securing him will cost an extra $125K, which is chump change in today's ever exploding Major League Baseball market. Hudson will probably compete for that 12th person pitching job in Surprise this February and March.

For the record, here's a sneak peak at my 2008 projection for the right-hander.

1-2, 6.17 ERA, 26.0 IP, 11 BB, 14 K

A complete Luke Hudson profile will be posted later, and will be listed among our Royals Insider segments.

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