Diamondbacks starter Daniel Hudson amassed 25 victories and a 3.19 ERA across 336 innings well before he reached even two years in big league service time. Last year he underwent Tommy John surgery, from which he's aiming to return around the All-Star break. Last month, I spoke to Hudson about his choice of agent, Andrew Lowenthal of Proformance.
On how he chose Lowenthal:
In '08 I think he had gotten my number from a previous player I had played with. He contacted me and we met a couple times, and before I went to the Cape Cod League in '07 I pretty much told him, "Hey I just wanted to let you know, I'm probably going to use you." Andrew and I kind of clicked, so it was a pretty easy decision for me to make at the time. I felt like he really wanted me, and I feel like he made a really concerted effort to come down and see me pitch. He would make an effort to call or text me after every single start, and basically just see how I was doing.
On how it went leading up to the draft in '08:
I don't really know much about his aspect of what he does. He does his best to explain everything to me, and I trust him enough to tell him, "I trust your expertise and what you know about this game, and I trust you to make a good decision on my behalf." He obviously kept me informed about all the negotiations and all the conversations he had with the White Sox, and I just let do his thing because I obviously didn't know what the heck was going on. It was fairly painless. A week and a half later I was on a plane to Great Falls, Montana to sign my contract.
On talking to Andrew about going year-to-year versus doing a long-term extension:
He laid it all out on the table. He's very good at giving me comparables as far as where I am in my career to where certain guys were at the same point in their careers and what contracts they signed and when they signed them. Before every season he gives me these thick notebooks and explains to me where I'm at in my market level with all the other guys. Obviously going year-to-year is a little bit more risky, but you can make a little bit more money in the long run. Or you can go for the security, if the team is willing to offer you an extension before you hit arbitration. He's very good and very open at giving me his opinion, but at the same time he wasn't for or against either one too strongly. So if the Diamondbacks offered me a contract last year and he didn't think it was a good deal but I wanted the security, he would not pressure me to not sign it.
Did the Diamondbacks throw anything out there before last season?
We talked. We had short conversations, but I don't really want to get into the number aspect of it.
On Andrew's involvement in Daniel's recovery from Tommy John surgery:
I feel like I couldn't have picked a better agent to feel like I still mattered even though I'm on the DL. I never felt like I wasn't getting attention because I was on the DL and going to miss 12 months.
On recommending Andrew to other players:
We have conversations about that from time to time, with different teammates and stuff. Sometimes you get to the point where some guys are like, "I'm really not liking my situation, I'm thinking about throwing my name back out there and seeing if any other agents bite." I know I've gotten Andrew meetings with a couple different guys I've played with, and once those guys saw what Andrew does for me and how helpful he is with me and my family, they want more of a personal relationship, which is what I have with Andrew at this point. I consider him more of a friend that handles my baseball stuff more than my agent. If guys like that, I flip them Andrew's number and let him take care of it from there.
Does a small agency offer an advantage over a big one?
I think so. It's human nature - the more clients a guy has, the less time he has to take care of you or talk to you. Especially with a smaller agency they don't have that many guys, I feel like at any point in time I can call any single one of them and I'll never get their voicemail. I feel like I'm just as important as the guys that are making $15MM for them.
Check out our other interviews in the Why I Chose My Agency series with Shaun Marcum, Mark DeRosa, Ted Lilly, Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, Aramis Ramirez, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Affeldt, David Wright, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday, Jamey Carroll and Jake Odorizzi.