Checking on the pitching market

Tim Hudson is no longer an option to join the Orioles' rotation. But when one door closes ...

Hudson reportedly has agreed to a two-year, $23 million contract with the Giants that may include a full no-trade clause. The details are unfolding.

The Orioles liked Hudson and were seen as a potential match, but they never made an offer.

Would you give Hudson, a 38-year-old pitcher who recently had a pin removed from his ankle, $23 million? I'd be more inclined if it weren't my money. And since it isn't, yeah, I'd take him and take my chances.

Meanwhile, another veteran right-hander, Bronson Arroyo, listed the Orioles, Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, Twins and Giants as teams expressing interest in him. Arroyo performed the roll call during an appearance on MLB Network Radio.

Arroyo, who turns 37 in February, added that he hasn't received any official offers. MLBTradeRumors.com projects that he will ink a two-year, $24 million deal. Arroyo said yesterday that he's hoping to secure a third year because he has a lot left in the tank.

I assumed that Arroyo could cross the Giants off his list after the Hudson news broke yesterday, but ESPN's Buster Olney tweeted that they still could pursue him to fill the last opening in their rotation.

Former Oriole Scott Feldman, in a separate interview on MLB Network Radio, estimated that his agent has heard from about 15 teams and there's more interest than last offseason. He also noted that the market is developing slowly.

MLBTradeRumors.com predicted that Feldman will return to the Orioles on a two-year deal. There's no question that they want him back. I just question whether he'd have to settle for two.

Feldman turns 31 in February. He's a kid next to Hudson and Arroyo. And while he hasn't put up the same numbers - he's 51-56 with a 4.62 ERA in nine seasons - he's one of the top starters on the market and plenty of teams are desperate for pitching.

The Rays outrighted Jeff Niemann yesterday and he declined the assignment, becoming a free agent. Niemann, the fourth overall pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft, didn't pitch this year following surgery in April to repair abnormalities in his labrum and rotator cuff.

Niemann turns 31 in February. Apparently, every free-agent pitcher was born in February.

There's no firm timetable for Niemann's return to the mound. It could happen early in the 2014 season. Could be later. Either way, while he may be worth a look, he isn't the solution to the Orioles' rotation woes. He's not the 200-inning workhorse they need behind Chris Tillman.


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