I mentioned earlier today that the Philadelphia Phillies were the most active early team, re-signing Carlos Ruiz and adding Marlon Byrd on multi-year deals.
Well, you can add San Francisco to the "early aggressor" group...after locking up Tim Lincecum in late October to a two year, $35M deal, they've now agreed to terms with free agent righthander Tim Hudson on a two year, $23 million contract.
Jamey Newberg mentioned Hudson as a possible Ranger target, should they deal away one of their incumbent starters. Hudson, a one-time ace, has settled into middle-age well, not striking out a bunch of guys, not walking a bunch of guys, and getting a bunch of ground balls. You could call him a league average innings eater except for the fact that he's a notch or two above league average, and has had some issues staying on the mound, making 28 starts in 2012 and 21 in 2013.
For a team like San Francisco that needs arms for the rotation, this is a reasonable enough deal. It will look terrible if Hudson gets hurt or falls off a cliff, but more likely, he'll continue to gently decline while giving San Fran 4 or 5 wins over the two seasons. How much you like the deal really comes down to how much faith you have in Hudson being able to start 50 games over the next two seasons, really.