Hudson: 'It's pretty close'

Updated: February 26, 2005, 5:37 PM ET
Associated Press

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves closed in on a contract extension with pitcher Tim Hudson, who has one year left on his current deal and doesn't want to talk money during the season.

Tim Hudson
Starting Pitcher
Atlanta Braves
27 12 6 0 103 3.53

Hudson, acquired from Oakland in December, set a Tuesday deadline for extending his contract. Otherwise, he could become a free agent after the season.

"It's pretty close," Hudson said Saturday. "We've just got a few loose ends to clear up."

The 29-year-old right-hander is a former 20-game winner with a career record of 92-39. Last season, he went 12-6 with a 3.53 ERA in 27 starts, but spent a month on the disabled list with an injury to his left side.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Hudson and the Braves were discussing a three-year extension worth more than $11 million annually, with the possibility of two more years based on innings pitched.

Hudson will make $6.75 million this season.

It also makes it better for the player when you know where you're going to be. You can get in your comfort zone.
Hudson, on working out an extension in Atlanta

Braves general manager John Schuerholz had no comment on the negotiations.

While Hudson might command more money on the free-agent market, he is eager to remain with a team that has won 13 straight division titles.

He grew up near Columbus, Ga., rooting for the Braves. Even before the trade, he was planning to build a home in Auburn, Ala., about a two-hour drive from Atlanta. His parents already live in Auburn.

"It's a winning organization with a history of great pitching and a great coaching staff," Hudson said. "It's a great situation. What other organization can say they've had a chance to win the World Series the last 13 years? That's pretty remarkable.

"Plus, I have a lot of friends and family ties. That's going to be a good situation."

Hudson became a Braves fan when they were one of the worst teams in baseball.

"I remember that people liked the team -- they just weren't very good," he said.

That all changed in 1991, when Atlanta went from last to first and came within one win of a World Series championship. Since then, the Braves have been a perennial postseason team.

Hudson hopes to be a part of that for more than one season.

"You want your family to be settled and comfortable," he said. "It also makes it better for the player when you know where you're going to be. You can get in your comfort zone."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press