To expand on statements I’ve made in comments… Tim Hudson went 13-12 with a 4.86 ERA in 2006 after going 14-9 with a 3.52 ERA in his first Atlanta season. However, his peripheral statistics in 2006 are actually probably a little stronger on balance; his strikeout rate was up, though he allowed a few more homers, his walks steady. To me, the statistical picture doesn’t explain the gigantic rise in ERA, which argues that the reason for his collapse were two, closely related, concepts: (1) defense, and (2) luck. He had good defense and got lucky in 2005, and had bad defense and was unlucky in 2006. The single biggest element of this is the difference between Rafael Furcal and Edgar Renteria, the second Marcus Giles’ defensive decline. The former is still going to be a problem in 2007; the latter doesn’t seem likely to improve with second base in the hands of a neophyte.
Anyway, Hudson, who throughout his career has been a far above-average pitcher at his worst, was well below-average last year. Some rebound should be expected even if the defense doesn’t improve, because he had a lot of bad luck. He has arrested the decline in his strikeout rate from his Oakland days, though it’s still not up near his peak level; his control is no longer a major strength but doesn’t appear to be a weakness. For the first time since 2001 he made 35 starts. I think he will be a solid #3 or #4 type starter for the next 2-3 years, but that’s not what the Braves are paying for. If he gets hot, I would dump him.