The Atlanta Braves head into Opening Day against a Philadelphia Phillies team that was once one of the most hyped up teams in baseball, especially in regards to their starting rotation. What is lost on many baseball fans is that Tim Hudson has done pretty much the same thing as the Phillies' lauded big three, but he's done it in a smaller market.
Over the last three seasons, since recovering from Tommy John, Hudson has gone 49-26 with a 3.19 ERA in 95 starts. He's gone 622 2/3 innings and held batters to a .237 batting average. His contract has paid him $9 million in each of those seasons. Let's compare that to the Phillies.
Opening Day starter Cole Hamels made 95 starts and has gone 51-24 with a 2.97 ERA. He has held opponents to a .247 average in 640 innings. Hamels made $31 million over those seasons and is currently making $19.5 million in 2013. He'll make $22.5 million for the next five seasons after this.
Roy Halladay, or the guy who essentially threw BP all spring, made 90 starts over the last three years to the tune of a 51-24 record and 2.91 ERA. Opponents hit .247 off him in 640 2/3 innings, and he made $55.75 million over those seasons. Hallady will pocket $20 million this season and has a vesting option for 2014 for $20 million.
Cliff Lee went 35-26 with 2.89 ERA and .241 opponents’ average in 656 innings over 90 starts. Lee made $41.5 million over the past three seasons and has $25 million salaries each of the next three years, plus a $27.5 million vesting option for 2016.
One can easily see that the 37-year-old Hudson has proven to be a better deal, as the difference between him and these guys is splitting hairs. The main difference is that Hudson is already in the option year of his contract. He has voiced his desire to stay in Atlanta while realizing how loaded the farm system already is.
It seems this season could make or break his chances of sticking around with the Braves.
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