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ESPN’s Law: D-backs reliever Daniel Hudson ranked 19th-best free agent

Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Daniel Hudson throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the eighth inning of an interleague baseball game, Wednesday, July 20, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Daniel Hudson was ranked the 19th-best free agent available this offseason by ESPN writer Keith Law.

The 29-year-old has become a bullpen asset Arizona may want to keep around, though much depends on the decision-making of new general manager Mike Hazen.

A former starter who moved to the bullpen after two Tommy John surgeries, Hudson tallied a 3.86 ERA in 2015 through 64 games and became regarded as an above-average reliever. During the 2016 season, Hudson struggled with a 5.22 ERA in 70 games but turned the corner from a rough June and July to close on a high note.

Law has Hudson at No. 19 due to his arsenal and lack of depth in this year’s free agent market.

His stuff remains intact — a mid-90s fastball, a plus changeup, an average slider — and his command is more than good enough for him to be a league-average reliever, with some upside if he’s in a better environment. If a team is looking for a closer but doesn’t want to pay retail for Kenley Jansen or deal with the character questions of Aroldis Chapman, Hudson’s a very appealing alternative who should see immediate improvement just by getting out of the desert.

Hudson was rumored to be involved in trades on multiple occasions throughout the season but during the whispers said he would like to remain with the Diamondbacks. After the season finale against the San Diego Padres, Hudson picked up the win and attempted to hold back tears during his media availability in what could have possibly been his last game for Arizona.

 

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