The Dodgers and right-hander Daniel Hudson have agreed to reunite on a minor league deal, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. The righty will earn $2MM if he cracks the roster, with another $2MM available via incentives.
Hudson, 37 in March, is coming off a mostly lost season in 2023. After tearing the ACL in his left knee in June of 2022, he was rehabbing over the winter but also developed some ankle tendinitis as well as patellar tendinitis in the knee. He started the season on the injured list and wasn’t activated until late June. After just three appearances, he suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee and landed back on the IL. He wasn’t able to return and then said in October that he was undecided about whether he would return for another year or hang up his cleats.
It seems he has now decided to give it another go and has returned to the Dodgers, with whom he signed going into 2022. Prior to the injury woes, he was utterly dominant. He tossed 24 1/3 innings that year with a 2.22 earned run average, 30.9% strikeout rate, 5.2% walk rate and 53.4% ground ball rate. He was so impressive that the Dodgers extended him into 2023 after his torn ACL.
That obviously didn’t pan out but it’s understandable why they would still be interested in him. In this case, they haven’t even guaranteed him a roster spot or his salary, giving them a chance to walk away if his health is an issue again in the spring. But if he’s back in form, it would be a nice low-cost boost to the bullpen. He has a 3.79 ERA in his career, having thrown almost 800 innings dating back to his 2009 debut.
The Dodgers have generally shown a willingness to give deals to injured players they like, often with incentives that allow the player greater potential earning power while keeping the club uncommitted. Alex Reyes, Blake Treinen and Jimmy Nelson are some players that have signed such deals in recent years and now Hudson will be in the mix on a similar pact for 2024.