Braves general manager Frank Wren said that he would have liked to have Hudson return to provide a veteran presence to the club's rotation, which currently does not have a member that has made more than 85 career starts. But the likelihood of Hudson returning to Atlanta significantly decreased when a number of teams began showing strong interest in him during the early days of the Hot Stove season.
The Braves made Hudson an initial one-year offer that, with incentives, was believed to be worth less than $7 million. Wren made a stronger push over the past couple of weeks. But he was never going to make an offer that came close to rivaling the one made by San Francisco.
By signing with the Giants, Hudson will have a chance to reacquaint himself with the Bay Area, a region that he has always been fond of since playing the first six seasons of his big league career with the A's (1999-2004).
When the Braves acquired him from the A's before the start of the 2005 season, Hudson was thrilled to play close to home -- approximately 90 miles north of his hometown of Phenix City, Ala. -- and for the organization that he followed closely dating back to his childhood.
Nine seasons later, Hudson has reason to be proud of the many contributions he made both to the Braves and the Atlanta community, which has benefited greatly from the many philanthropic efforts he and his wife, Kim, have made.
Hudson went 113-72 with a 3.56 ERA and made 243 starts during his career with the Braves. The only four pitchers in Atlanta history with more wins and starts are Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine.
With Hudson out of the picture, Atlanta's projected rotation includes Kris Medlen, Mike Minor, Julio Teheran, Brandon Beachy and either Alex Wood or David Hale. Minor and Medlen are the only members of this group who have made more than 50 career starts.
The Braves will continue searching the free-agent market and the trade market for a veteran starting pitcher. But this is not necessarily the year to be searching for starting pitching. With a thin free-agent crop, teams willing to trade experienced and accomplished starters are looking for a significant return.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.