July 2010

Hudson settling in after trade to D-backs

NEW YORK — Daniel Hudson’s experience in dealing with changes is certainly coming in handy this weekend.

The newly-acquired pitcher showed up during Friday night’s game with the Mets and Saturday reflected on what was a whirlwind 24 hours for him as he was dealt from the White Sox to the D-backs on Thursday.

‘You go to bed the night before not really thinking about anything on the trade deadline to waking up the next morning with a bunch of text messages saying I just got traded,” he said. “It’s something you don’t like to go through, but it’s part of the game. [The White Sox] have to do what they think they need to do to win a championship.”

As for the experience in dealing with change, that came last year when Hudson played at all four of Chicago’s Minor League full-season teams and got a September callup to Sox.

No idea if that’s ever happened before, but if it has I could not have happened very often.

I went through quite a different number of clubhouses last year. It’s one of those things, they were kind of aggressive with me, I put up some decent numbers and they kept testing me.

“I had no expectations of that going into the year,” Hudson said. “Every couple of weeks it seemed they were calling saying you’re going up, you’re going up. It’s cool to think about looking back.”

So Hudson leaves a team that was in first place to come to the last-place D-backs. It’s a blow from a standings standpoint, but on the plus side for him, he’ll get to develop over these next two months without the added pressure of a pennant race.

The D-backs will have more freedom to let him learn at the big league level.

“I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for me to just get in there and get my feet wet,” he said. “It’s good to know that another team thought highly enough to trade for you. It’s very humbling for me. To be put in a good situation like I am right now, it’s very good for me I think.”

Hudson does have some friends in the clubhouse. He played with Mark Reynolds brother in high school so he knows Mark and he played on some traveling teams with Justin Upton.

I asked Hudson to describe himself as a pitcher for Arizona fans who do not know much about him.

“I’m not one of those guys that’s going to light up the radar guy,” he said. “I’m just going to go out there and hopefully pound the strike zone, work down in the zone and get as many outs as I can to try to get guys to swing at pitches on the first three and try to get them to put the ball in play.”

Hudson throws a fastball that’s more of a four-seamer with run than a two-seamer with sink. His slider and curve he says are more in the “developmental” stage and he relies mostly on the fastball and changeup.

Hudson will wear No. 41 and start Sunday in the series finale against the Mets here at Citi Field.

Players D-backs will receive for Snyder

The D-backs will get right-hander D.J. Carrasco, outfielder Ryan Church and infielder Bobby Crosby from the Pirates for Snyder.

D-backs send Qualls to Tampa for PTBNL

NEW YORK — The D-backs are on the verge of completing a deal that would send reliever Chad Qualls to the Rays in exchange for a player to be named later, according to a baseball source.

The D-backs will not have to include any cash in the deal with the Rays picking up the roughly $1.6 million Qualls is owed for the rest of the season.

Arizona has actively shopped Qualls, who began the year as the team’s closer, but has struggled to find any consistency and is 1-4 with an 8.51 ERA in 42 games. The right-hander, who makes $4.185 million this year will be eligible for free agency at the end of the season.

The D-backs acquired Qualls along with Juan Gutierrez and Chris Burke from the Astros in December of 2007 in a deal that sent Jose Valverde to Houston.

D-backs close to dealing Snyder

NEW YORK — The D-backs have agreed on a trade late Friday night that would send catcher Chris Snyder to the Pirates pending approval by the commissioner’s office according to a baseball source.

It is not clear what the D-backs would get in return or how much money is changing hands in the deal, but that is what would have to be approved by Major League Baseball.

Snyder is due $5.75 million next year with a club option worth $6.75 million for 2012 with a $750,000 buyout.

Snyder is hitting .231 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs in 65 games this year.

It’s been quite a change of direction for the club with regards to Snyder. Following the 2008 season, the club inked him to a contract extension and he looked like their catcher going forward.

A back injury, though, sidelined him two months into the 2009 season and Miguel Montero filled in for him and was so impressive with the bat that Snyder was relegated to a backup role.

Picture of the day

Here is a look at what would have been Edwin Jackson’s locker here at Citi Field.
Empty Locker.JPG

A closer look at Hudson and Holmberg

I asked MLB.com’s resident prospect expert Jonathan Mayo for a look at the two pitchers the D-backs received today for Edwin Jackson. Here’s what Mayo had to say:

The Diamondbacks may have traded Edwin Jackson away to the White Sox, but they got two young arms in return. Here’s some more information on Dan Hudson and David Holmberg.

Hudson, 23 years old, was a fifth-round pick of the White Sox in 2008. In his first full season, he made a bee-line through Chicago’s system, starting in the Class A South Atlantic League and finishing in the big leagues. He was named MLB.com’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year for pitching at four levels and going 14-5 with a 2.32 ERA in 26 starts. He struck out 166 and walked only 34 while holding hitters to a .200 average in 147 1/3 IP. He made it up to the big leagues last year and had a 3.38 ERA in six games, two of them starts.

Hudson competed for a job in the rotation this spring, but got sent down to Triple-A to start the year instead. After a rough April, he turned it around and was 11-4 with a 3.47 ERA when he was called up to take Jake Peavy’s spot in the rotation.

Hudson gets success with a three-pitch mix and excellent command. All of his stuff plays up because of deception in his delivery. He’s got an excellent fastball, up to 93 mph, with plus life. He has the potential to have an average slider with a changeup that grades out as plus right now. He hasn’t had overwhelming success at the big-league level, but his stuff has been just as good as it’s always been. He’ll step right into the Diamondbacks rotation.

If Hudson is the “now” part, Holmberg is the “later” part. The 2009 second-rounder had been pitching with Great Falls in the Pioneer League, making eight starts and posting a 4.46 ERA in 40 1/3 innings. The Diamondbacks really liked the 19-year-old lefty coming out of high school in Florida.

He doesn’t have plus stuff, but he really knows how to pitch. He has four pitches in his arsenal. He throws his fastball in the 87-90 mph range, typically sitting at 87-88 mph. His curve and changeup are his best secondary pitches. He also has a slider which isn’t purely developed or defined. His fastball plays up because of his angle — he uses every inch of his 6-foot-4 frame. Like with most young pitchers, he needs to improve his fastball command.

D-backs closing in on deal with White Sox

NEW YORK — The D-backs are closing in on a deal with the White Sox that would send Edwin Jackson to Chicago with Daniel Hudson being the centerpiece of what Arizona would receive in return, a baseball source confirmed Friday.

Jackson, who was acquired by the D-backs last winter in a three-team deal that included the Yankees and Tigers, is 6-10 with a 5.16 ERA in 21 starts this year. He threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on June 25.

Hudson, 23, is a highly-regarded pitching prospect, who was called up by the White Sox to take injured hurler Jake Peavy’s place in the rotation. The right-hander was selected by Chicago in the fifth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

Hudson rose quickly through the Minors. He started at Class A in 2009 before shooting all the way up to the Major Leagues by season’s end.

In nine big league games, including five starts, Hudson is 2-2 with a 4.72 ERA. He is scheduled to start Friday night for the Sox.

If the trade is completed, the D-backs would likely turn their attention to moving closer Chad Qualls and catcher Chris Snyder.

More moves likely for D-backs

The D-backs are likely not done dealing yet. The team would still like to move catcher Chris Snyder and reliever Chad Qualls and are open to dealing first baseman Adam LaRoche.
In addition, they will listen to offers on right-hander Edwin Jackson, who will be a free agent after the 2011 season.

“If we could get a player back that could help at the Major League level immediately as well as help restock the farm system we would listen,” Hall said of a possible Jackson deal.

As of Monday afternoon, though, there had been no discussions of a three-team deal for Jackson involving the White Sox and the Nationals.