Braves Blog: Starting Pitching Better Than '09

Braves Blog: Starting Pitching Better Than '09

Published Feb. 26, 2010 10:55 a.m. ET

By Martin Gandy

February 26, 2010

Many Braves fans were dismayed to see the team trade away the pitcher who became the staff's ace last season, Javier Vazquez. But after Tim Hudson proved he was healthy and fully back from Tommy John surgery at the end of last season, the team moved quickly to sign him to a team friendly contract extension. Hudson, who is from Columbus, Georgia, gave the Braves a "hometown discount" on his contract, signing for several million less per year than he likely could have gotten on the free agent market, and signing for several million less than Javier Vazquez was going to make in 2010.

The Braves had six starters and had to deal one of them. There were reports that they tried to deal Derek Lowe, who has an even bigger contract than Vazquez, but his disappointing 2009 season yielded no takers in the trade market. The team finally dealt Vazquez to the Yankees for several useful pieces for this year's team (Melky Cabrera and Mike Dunn) and an exceptional young prospect (Arodys Vizcaino).