2:15pm: MLB.com's Mark Bowman talked to Braves GM Frank Wren, who said he'd like to have Hudson pitching in Atlanta for a long time. Hudson's thoughts:
"I would be glad if they picked up the option. But it's one of those things if they want to discuss not picking it up and maybe going a few years out at some kind of whatever hometown discount, that's something I'd obviously be willing to discuss with them."
9:49am: According to ESPN's Buster Olney:
The Braves are interested in discussing a contract extension with Tim Hudson, and if they can make that work, they presumably will somehow fold the $12MM 2010 option into that deal. This, of course, would free up a starting pitcher for Atlanta to trade.
As MLBTR readers learned in January, Hudson has the right to void the option if the Braves exercise it. Dave O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote at the time that the Braves "fully intend to exercise it, barring some unexpected turn of events." Hudson had Tommy John surgery in August of '08, and he's been solid in two of his three starts this year. However, he wouldn't get $12MM guaranteed for one year on the open market, and nine months later O'Brien's assertion seems less certain. Hudson, as you might expect, would like the option picked up.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports addressed the Hudson situation on Wednesday. Rosenthal also believed that he might prefer to just re-sign with the Braves. He wondered if the Braves would then shop Javier Vazquez for a hitter. Olney believes Atlanta would be more likely to trade another starter, Kenshin Kawakami for example.
I'm thinking something like two years, $15MM (plus incentives) would make sense for a Hudson extension. I don't agree that the Braves should shop a starter if they re-sign him. We have seen countless examples where a team had a starting pitching surplus on paper heading into the season, only to see it turn into a need within months.