SF Giants: How to win the trade deadline in three minor moves
3. Daniel Hudson
Washington Nationals reliever Daniel Hudson has appeared in parts of 12 MLB seasons. At 34, Hudson is putting together the most dominant campaign of his career. Through 31 appearances, the righty has issued just seven walks while racking up 48 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched. Hudson’s 2.20 ERA is backed up by his FIP (2.45), xFIP (2.88), and xERA (2.50).
It’s easy to be skeptical of a career middle-reliever unexpectedly performing like an elite high-leverage arm, but there are some peripheral explanations for Hudson’s success. Despite his advanced age, Hudson is throwing harder than ever before, averaging a career-high 97.3 mph on his fastball. The added velocity to his heater has helped his above-average slider reach another level this season, recording a 54.2% whiff rate.
Giants fans would obviously prefer seeing Scherzer make his way across the country to join the Orange-and-Black, but Hudson has a far greater likelihood of being traded and will come at a far lower price. Norwith Gudino could help a big-league bullpen by the end of this season but is likely blocked in the Giants system and will have to be added to the 40-man roster this winter. He dominated Double-A competition to begin the season and has maintained strong strikeout rates since receiving a promotion to Triple-A.
Matt Frisbee was untouchable at Double-A and seemed slated to join the Giants rotation sometime in 2022. However, since reaching Triple-A, Frisbee has surrendered 16 home runs in just 49 innings of work. Still, Frisbee is a strike-thrower with a good feel for a four-pitch mix (fastball, splitter, curveball, and changeup). If he can keep the ball in the yard, he could become a backend starter. If not, his velocity should pick up enough in the pen that he could still contribute as a reliever.
The Giants could upgrade their bullpen without forfeiting a highly-regarded prospect. At the same time, Washington could recoup a pair of intriguing upper minor-league pitchers for the final months of team control over Hudson.
The SF Giants may be trying to reel in a star before the MLB trade deadline, but with rumors swirling, they could still have a fantastic day if they add Alex Cobb, Mark Canha, and Daniel Hudson.