Let’s face it, the Los Angeles Dodgers were dealt a huge blow on Monday.
First it was the loss of Cy Young Award finalist and arguably the best pitcher on the staff last season in Max Scherzer. Scherzer agreed to sign a three-year, $130 million dollar contract with the New York Mets, making him the highest paid player by annual average value in MLB history.
Hours later, the news that the man who had been playing the most demanding position in baseball for the last seven seasons was moving on from the Boys in Blue. 2020 World Series MVP Corey Seager agreed to a 10-year, $325 million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Within hours, the Dodgers lost two of their best players from their 2021 roster, and still had a handful of other players from that team that could also leave in free agency.
However, before the day was done, the Dodgers did join in the free-agent frenzy by bringing back a former relief pitcher.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan was the first to report that the Dodgers had agreed to a one-year, $7 million contract with reliever Daniel Hudson. The deal is not yet official and still pending a physical.
Hudson, 34, is a former Dodgers’ reliever who had a 4.11 ERA with Los Angeles in 40 games in 2018 before he was placed on the injured list in August with right forearm tightness. He signed with Toronto in 2019 and had a breakout season with the Blue Jays before being traded to the Washington Nationals at the trade deadline.
Hudson took over as the closer for the Nationals struggling bullpen, and helped lead them to the 2019 World Series where they defeated the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Astros to win the championship. Hudson was on the mound when he struck out Michael Brantley for the final out of the World Series in Game 7 at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Hudson appeared in 54 games with the Nationals and San Diego Padres in 2021, recording a 3.31 ERA.
Hudson joins a strong Dodgers’ bullpen from last season, but not one that is still full of holes and question marks. Longtime closer Kenley Jansen is a free agent, as is Corey Knebel and Joe Kelly. Hudson can immediately fill in the high-leverage roles vacated by the latter two, and could even appear as a closer in certain situations. But if the Dodgers do not re-sign Jansen, the role of closer would likely go to setup man Blake Treinen.
The plethora of players creating a paroxysm in baseball is due to the urgency of players to sign their new contracts before the current collective bargaining agreement expires on Wednesday, December 1 at 9:00PM PST.
MLB owners and the MLBPA are currently meeting in Texas trying to get a new agreement signed, but if the deadline passes without one there will be a lockout that could last indefinitely.
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