Oakland G.M. Billy Beane has finaly broken up his Big 3, sending P Tim Hudson to Los Angeles in exchange for P Edwin Jackson and infield prospect Antonio Perez. The Contra-Costa Times’ Rick Hurd and Joe Roderick report :
The apparent deal came after a 48-hour period in which several teams fought hard for Hudson, who was perhaps the most attractive trade commodity on the market. Hudson, 29, will earn $6.5 million next season in what will be the final season of his contract. He’s expected to command at least $13 million a season if he hits the free-agent market next winter.
Whether that happens is still unclear, but Beane re-iterated Saturday that the A’s would not make any trade contingent on the opposing club negotiating a contract extension for Hudson.
The deal officially will end the 4 1/2-year reign of the A’s Three Aces. Hudson was 92-39 with a 3.30 in six seasons with the A’s. He was 12-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 starts in what proved to be his closing act. His final A’s season also was marred by a recurrence of a strained left oblique muscle, an injury that has plagued Hudson over the past three seasons.
In Jackson, the A’s will receive one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. Jackson, a 21-year-old right-hander, has gone 4-2 in 12 appearances (eight starts) in the majors but is a hard thrower and was highly coveted by the Arizona Diamondbacks at last season’s trade deadline. The Dodgers’ unwillingness to part with Jackson was reportedly one of the reasons Los Angeles could not make a trade for Diamondbacks left-hander Randy Johnson.
The A’s also will receive Perez, who hit .296 with 22 homers and 88 RBI at Triple-A Las Vegas last season.
With Perez’s addition, the future of second baseman Mark Ellis falls into question. Ellis sustained a dislocated right shoulder during spring training last season and missed the season. He is eligible for arbitration, and the A’s could now choose not to tender him a contract offer by the Dec. 20 deadline.
The Baltimore Orioles and St. Louis Cardinals had been major players for Hudson. The A’s reportedly had been pushing hard for left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard, but the Orioles were reluctant to part with him. The O’s reportedly also have inquired about lefty Barry Zito, but it’s unlikely the A’s will trade another starting pitcher.
The Cardinals were reportedly offering pitchers Dan Haren and Rick Ankiel.