Since the Rays and Pirates are already paying Hudson’s $5.5MM salary for the coming season, he’d only cost the Dodgers a pro-rated portion of the league-minimum salary in the majors. He’ll also earn $25K monthly in the minors, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation (via Twitter), so there’s no financial pressure. But with multiple April opt-out opportunities, Hudson can push to receive a return to the majors.
All in all, this will basically represent a free roll for a Los Angeles club that always seems to find interesting relief arms in unexpected places. Hudson had a brutal spring (during which he was traded from the Pirates to the Rays) after managing only a 4.38 ERA in 2017.
That said, there’s some reason to believe Hudson could still harness the talent that has long been evident. The two-time Tommy John recipient was healthy, showed plenty of arm speed, and also generated a solid 12.1% swinging-strike rate last season. Though he has not managed to produce consistent results, Hudson remains an interesting pitcher.