New Pirate Daniel Hudson on the D-backs: ‘They stuck with me’
Daniel Hudson knows the unpredictability of baseball.
The new member of the Pittsburgh Pirates has yet to experience his new home playing for a new team, but he remains gracious for the moments he spent with the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2010 to 2016.
It’s more than fond memories, it seems.
Hudson joined the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Tuesday and even said he could see himself again suiting up for the D-backs down the road.
“They stuck with me through some really hard times there. They took care of my family when they didn’t have to,” Hudson said. “We’re always going to live here in the offseason still. We have our roots planted. Hopefully, the door’s still open to at some point in my career come back and play for the Diamondbacks again.”
“You never know, man,” he added. “You never know how this game works out … I’m not going to close any doors at all. I enjoyed my time, I have no bad relationships with anyone in that organization.”
Hudson said he kept the Diamondbacks in the loop regarding his free agency process before signing with Pittsburgh this offseason. The team ultimately decided to go in another direction.
“I wanted to give them every opportunity to kind of play that card if they wanted to, and it just didn’t work out,” Hudson said.
The 29-year-old reliever joined Arizona as a starter in a 2010 trade with the White Sox, but after two Tommy John surgeries, he returned as a bullpen arm.
In 2015, Hudson produced in his first full season of relief with a 3.86 ERA in 64 appearances. And last season, he struggled in June and July by giving up 25 earned runs in just 17 innings pitched but recovered to close 2016 strong. Hudson recorded a 1.86 ERA in September and two hitless frames in his final two appearances in October.
The downs of the 2016 season, Hudson believes, hurt his free agency stock.
“Without having that little bit of a stretch, it puts me closer to the top-end guys,” he said after inking a contract reported at two years and $11 million. “It happens.”
With Pittsburgh, Hudson fills a bullpen that lost reliever Mark Melancon in a midseason trade a year ago. He doesn’t know whether he will play closer or set-up man — he mostly played as the latter with the D-backs but dabbled in the former late after Arizona traded Brad Ziegler, who has since signed with Miami, to the Boston Red Sox.
“I don’t really worry about roles. I think everybody can see how the bullpen is being used with the playoffs and everything,” Hudson said.
“You just go look at our 2015 season and how many expectations we met and were higher than even. You think nothing but good things. It just didn’t work out — you have a couple of injuries and that kind of derailed us. The offense was still pretty good. It all fell back on the pitching.” — Hudson on the 2016 Diamondbacks