The San Diego Padres infamously didn’t acquire any starting pitching at the deadline. In fact, they only acquired one pitcher. His name? Daniel Hudson.
I, like many fans, was pretty excited about acquiring Hudson. The Padres needed some extra bullpen help—preferably bullpen help that had experience pitching in high leverage, big game situations. Hudson fit that description.
The 34-year-old recorded the final out of the 2019 World Series and owned a 2.20 ERA at the time of the trade with the Washington Nationals. It looked on paper like it was a smart decision. Except it didn’t turn out as well as fans would’ve hoped. In hindsight, what made the trade worse was that A.J. Preller gave up talented young pitcher Mason Thompson, who had six years of team control, for a half season of Hudson. It’s safe to say Thompson would’ve been utilized late in the year when Blake Snell and Chris Paddack went down with injuries.
Hudson’s Padres tenure finished with an ERA north of 5.20, recording the highest WHIP he’s had with a single team since the 2017 season when he recorded a 1.459 WHIP in Pittsburgh. To be fair, Hudson didn’t give up more than two runs in any September outing so his numbers could be a little skewed based on a few clunkers.
Hudson is a free agent this offseason and I’d expect the Padres to show interest in bringing him back but only at a certain price. San Diego has to take into account that they’ll be getting back three bullpen options in Adrian Morejon, Michel Baez, and Drew Pomeranz to start next season. Keone Kela could also come back on a club option at just $800,000.