SAN FRANCISCO -- As he looked to bolster the Giants' rotation, general manager Brian Sabean felt that right-hander Tim Hudson "had every box checked." The right-hander felt the same way about San Francisco.
On a conference call Tuesday morning, Hudson said his family quickly embraced the idea of moving back to the Bay Area, where Hudson broke into the big leagues with the A's. Hudson, who signed a two-year, $23 million deal with the Giants, was looking to pitch for a contender, likes AT&T Park and the city, and was intent on staying in the National League.
"It was a pretty easy decision once it came down to the nuts and bolts of the whole thing," Hudson said. "It was pretty evident this was the place that felt right for me and my family."
Hudson said he doesn't care where the coaching staff puts him in a rotation that already includes Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner and Tim Lincecum, and also plans on changing from his traditional No. 15 since Bruce Bochy has that one locked down. But with the way the manager spoke about Hudson on Tuesday, there may be some room for negotiation.
"To get Tim, who is one of the most highly-sought pitchers out there, I couldn't be more thrilled," Bochy said. "It certainly helps fill a very important need for us as we try to get back on track here and get where we were a couple of years ago. I couldn't be happier or more excited to have Tim, who brings great experience and is a winner. For him to choose us, we're honored."
Hudson said Bochy should be able to slot him into the rotation from the start of spring training. Four months removed from a gruesome ankle injury, Hudson had a screw removed from his right ankle last week and plans to start throwing soon.
"It's coming along just fine, just how we planned," he said of the surgically repaired ankle. "I don't anticipate it holding me up at all. I feel I'm going to be right on track where I normally am coming into spring."
Hudson had a physical on Monday in San Francisco.
"Once we got the physical squared away, there was no question he was going to become a Giant," Sabean said.
Even with Hudson now in the fold, the front office is still looking for another starter. Sabean said the Giants could re-sign right-hander Ryan Vogelsong, but they don't anticipate signing Vogelsong plus another veteran to battle for the fifth spot in the rotation. Sabean said he would not do that "out of fairness to Vogey" and pointed out that Yusmeiro Petit and Edwin Escobar give the Giants depth.
Sabean said the Giants are "very close" to re-signing left-hander Javier Lopez and continue to discuss options in left field. The free-agent market does not present many appealing ones, so the Giants could try to trade for a right-handed bat to platoon with Gregor Blanco.
"I think (Bochy) would want an everyday guy, but I don't know that that's going to happen," Sabean said.