Dodgers reunite with former reliever in free agency silver lining
By Adam Weinrib
If the Los Angeles Dodgers want to learn how to secure the final out of Game 7 of the World Series against the Houston Astros, there are certainly worse people they could call.
To cap an otherwise brutal day in the free agent landscape, where the Dodgers watched deadline acquisition Max Scherzer waltz to the Mets while Corey Seager locked on with the Texas Rangers (?) for his formative years, Andrew Friedman did finalize a shrewd acquisition to help shore up the back of LA’s bullpen.
Without Kenley Jansen and Joe Kelly (most likely), that unit will be filled with plenty of new faces this season, so the littlest bit of familiarity helps.
Welcome back…Daniel Hudson, fresh off a stint with the San Diego Padres, but recently a Dodger as of 2018!
Dodgers Hot Stove: LA signs Daniel Hudson
As low-risk as it gets, there’s a solid chance Hudson develops into a viable bridge to the back end of the bullpen yet again.
Now, all we need to do is figure out that back end occupant. Blake Treinen? Probably?
Hudson, who’ll be 35 by the time next season rolls around, throttled the NL with the Nationals during 2021’s first half, striking out 48 men in 32.2 innings pitched while rocking a 2.47 FIP/185 ERA+. Just like the rest of the Padres, though, he backslid in the second half after changing coasts. In San Diego, Hudson posted a 1.368 WHIP and 5.21 ERA in 23 outings — though his FIP was only 4.49.
The last time we saw Hudson, he was a middling Dodger, finishing the 2018 campaign — his only season in True Blue — with a 4.11 ERA. The next year, he shook off injuries and found himself in Toronto, making his way to DC midseason and eventually serving as the team’s de facto closer during their World Series run. A 1.44 ERA (and weak bullpen) will afford you those type of responsibilities, and he took full advantage by striking out Michael Brantley and hurling his glove to the sky to close out the Fall Classic.
Ideally, this isn’t anywhere near the end of LA’s bullpen spending; with myriad holes to fill, the pitching staff still deserves the most attention. Despite our forthcoming whining, Hudson’s a nice, and oft-forgotten, piece.