We've been hearing whispers for weeks, but it appears that Tim Hudson's contract extension really is nearing finalization. Mark Bowman at MLB.com tells us that the deal is for three years and between $24 million and $27 million, though David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported earlier today that he expected the deal to include a fourth-year option. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com confirms the news (actually, in fairness, it looks like he broke the story) and adds that the Braves will now likely look to trade either Javier Vazquez or Derek Lowe (note he doesn't mention Kenshin Kawakami).
I don't think I am out of line to say that Hudson could have gotten at least 50% more money on the open market, which makes this an outstanding move for Frank Wren to open the offseason. The pitching depth will be officially overflowing once Hudson signs on the dotted line, and there will be flexibility galore to try to acquire the stud bat that the offense so sorely needs. Nothing wrong with going into the winter with plenty of options, and even more importantly, there's nothing wrong with re-upping with a pitcher that's making a clear statement that he wants to be in Atlanta, who contributes to the community and the clubhouse, and oh yeah, could still be a bona fide top-of-the-rotation starter.