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a-pair-of-signings | November | 2009 Articles

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A pair of signings

Written by Joe Lucia on .

Tim Hudson passed his physical today, so that deal is all but done...just waiting for the official announcement. But thats not all... The Braves signed Scott Proctor as well. Zuh? DOCTOR PROCTOR? Yeah. He had Tommy John in late 2008, and will likely spend all of April in the minors...I really don't like this move, it reeks of Chad Paronto. He's had one year in his career with a FIP under 4, and only one more with a FIP under 5...he walks a ton of guys, strikes out a decent bit of them, and the ball absolutely flies out of the park with him on the hill. He's had one year in his career where he's been worth a positive amount of money, that being his 2006 season which Joe Torre ran him into the ground. He hasn't been the same since, average ERA in 2007 notwithstanding...the peripherals were horrible. Proctor is essentially a live body that should be competing for a spot on the team with the old relievers in Gwinnett that have horrible peripherals but good mainstream numbers, like Juan Perez and Mariano Gomez. Now, the important signing. Tim Hudson. The rumored deal is 3/$27, which actually saves the Braves $3 million on his option for next year...hooray for payroll flexibility!  Aside from this season, where he only started 7 games, Huddy has only been worth less than the $9 million he'll earn each of the next 3 years once, that being his first year in Atlanta back in 2005. Everyone should know the book on Huddy now...not a lot of strikeouts, walks, or homers, but a whole load of ground balls. He's a lot like Derek Lowe, except not as old, and making less money. Considering the Braves will likely expect him to be the fourth starter this year, he's an absolutely fantastic option for the back end of the rotation. With his signing, its also good to know that the rotation for this year is pretty much set and that the team doesn't have to worry about plugging numerous holes like last season, which was an absolute mess. Someone is going to be traded...Lowe seems to be the best guess, with his exorbitant contract. Javier Vazquez would probably get more in return, but Vazquez apparently loves Atlanta and actually wants an extension. Kawakami leaving would be an option too, but I'm afraid that trading him would really give the Braves a black eye in the Japanese market...imagine, signing one of the best pitchers in the Japanese league, and then trading him after one solid season. Wouldn't look too good to the legions of Japanese players considering making the jump to America. Another option may be to put someone, most likely Kawakami, in the bullpen. After Hudson's emergence in August, Kawakami was shifted to the bullpen, where he posted a 2.63 ERA in 13 2/3 innings. This option would look a lot more practical if both Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano leave via free agency, creating some holes in the pen. Kawakami obviously wouldn't make a great closer, but if someone like Kris Medlen, Luis Valdez, or a free agent signing stepped into the back of the pen, Kawakami could become a seventh inning guy or a long reliever, replacing the suck that was Buddy Carlyle and Jeff Bennett in 2009. I'd feel much more comfortable with Kawakami coming into the game to attempt to keep a 4 run deficit just that, instead of the wall-punching phenom Bennett or the never-good Carlyle trotting into the game and seeing the Braves trail by 8. It will be interesting to see what Frank Wren ends up doing when the hot stove officially gets lit up in a week or two.

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