Braves notes: Atlanta still hopes to keep Hudson

November 13, 2013 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ORLANDO, Fla. -- While Atlanta hopes to re-sign veteran starter Tim Hudson, other teams including the San Francisco Giants might force them to raise their initial offer to make it happen.

The Giants are one of about 10 teams that have expressed interest in the 38-year-old right-hander, and they've spoken to his representative about the possibility of Hudson returning to the Bay Area, where Hudson (Glenwood, CVCC) started his career in 1999 with Oakland and was a 20-game winner in 2000.

Hudson would like to return for a 10th season with the Braves, but also enjoyed his six years in Oakland and would consider a move to the Giants, who are said to be serious about adding another proven veteran to their rotation.

Hudson, a 205-game winner who made $9 million each of the past four seasons, was offered a one-year deal last week by the Braves with a base salary that was believed to be worth well below half that amount. He went 8-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 21 starts in 2013, including a 2.73 ERA in his last 10 starts before a season-ending broken ankle July 24.

Wren was asked if he were optimistic about re-signing Hudson, whom the Braves would like to have back as a stabilizing presence in an otherwise youthful rotation.

"I don't know if optimistic is the right word," Wren said. "I would say that we're hopeful. We would love to have him back. I don't know exactly where it's going to go. He knows how we feel, his representatives know how we feel.

"We would like to have him back, and we've made that known to him."

The Giants have indicated a willingness to pay a bit more than market value in order to keep the contract to one or two years, for whomever they sign. They re-signed their own pitcher Tim Lincecum a two-year, $35 million contract that stunned most baseball insiders who figured Lincecum would get less than half that amount.

Losing a coach

For the second time in as many weeks, a Braves minor league coordinator is leaving for a major league coaching job.

Hitting coordinator Don Long was expected to be announced as the Cincinnati's new hitting coach, two weeks after Braves minor league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace was hired as Baltimore pitching coach. The Orioles have also hired Braves special assistant Dom Chiti as bullpen coach.

Long served as Pittsburgh's hitting coach for three seasons throughout 2010 before taking the Braves minor-league position.

"It's a credit to our organization that we have the kind of people that other organizations are looking at to improve their major league clubs," Wren said. "It's a credit to our guys and it's something we're proud of, but at the same time we feel like it's really important to have great instruction at the minor league level. And we've had that, so now the challenge is to hire new people that can continue to help us develop players."

Wren said Bruce Manno, assistant GM and player-development director, was in the process of asking permission from other clubs to interview potential replacements for the two coordinator positions. Wren wasn't sure if the Braves would be able to hire one person to fill the same duties Chiti handled.

Chiti served as a top scout while also helping Wallace develop young pitchers in the Braves minor league system. Wren said Chiti was the person most responsible for getting Julio Teheran back on track during the 2012 season at Triple-A Gwinnett.

"Losing Dave and Dom Chiti are two big losses, now we're also losing another one," Wren said Tuesday, declining to name the team that had hired Long because it had not been announced yet. "We've lost three guys to major league coaching jobs. (Long) is not leaving because he wants to leave; he got a major league job, and a major league pension is a huge driving force for those guys."

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