There is no such thing as too much starting pitching. Teams, year after year, learn that lesson the hard way. The most recent educational experience for the Red Sox coming when they traded away Bronson Arroyo during Spring Training before the 2006 season for none other than Wily Mo "I can hit a baseball a mile but can't touch a curveball" Peña.
With a very scarce free agent market for starting pitchers, the best option that Red Sox General Manager Ben Cherington has to upgrade the rotation is to acquire a variety of low-risk, low-cost, high-reward arms. Cherington did something similar before the 2013 season to fill the backup first baseman job by acquiring low-risk, low-cost guys in Mike Carp, Lyle Overbay and Mark Hamilton.
Many big names fit the bill of what the Red Sox are potentially looking for. Roy Halladay and Johan Santana are among the free agent pitchers that likely won't cost very much money, but have the potential to add something at the back of a rotation.
Here's the guy that the Red Sox should go after: notorious Red Sox killer Tim Hudson.
Hudson's 2013 season ended in July when Eric Young of the New York Mets stepped on Hudson's lower leg, resulting in an ankle fracture. Before the injury, Hudson was pitching well to the tune of a 3.97 ERA, 95 strikeouts to just 36 walks in 131.1 innings with a 1.19 WHIP. The 38-year-old righty, who is in the tail-end of his career, has spent the last nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves after spending the six seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics.
The Braves, who did not offer Hudson a qualifying offer, are interested in bringing back the 15-year veteran due to his leadership in the clubhouse. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Hudson has received a one-year offer from the Braves and has also received interest from the Indians and Royals. Heyman speculates that Hudson could receive a salary in the range of $9 million dollars.
In a locker room full of strong leaders, Hudson would provide another backbone for the young players in the clubhouse. Hudson's former teammates rave about his leadership and his ability to mentor young players. With young pitchers like Brandon Workman and Drake Britton among many others coming up through the farm system, Hudson could play a large part in the development of the young pitchers.
It would also keep the inconsistent Ryan Dempster in the bullpen as a long reliever as a potential spot starter. Dempster. While he is being paid $13.25 million next year, Dempster is on the last year of his contract, making his salary negligible because of the Red Sox' budget as a large market team.
The Red Sox signing Hudson would fit within the philosophy that Cherington used coming into the 2013 season: veteran players with leadership and clubhouse presence on short term deals. And if it seems as though the Red Sox already have too much starting pitching, well, that's a perception that never lasts long past Opening Day.