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Braves begin contract extension talks with Tim Hudson

The Braves "get the ball rolling" on keeping Tim Hudson in Atlanta:

Braves general manager Frank Wren and Hudson's agent, Paul Cohen, began negotiations on Thursday and they are expected to continue talking over the course of the next couple of days.

"We just kind of got the ball rolling," said a source with knowledge of the negotiations. [...]

Specifics about the early extension talks weren't revealed. But it is believed the Braves would be comfortable providing Hudson an offer of three years worth $27-29 million.

It has been the general consensus around baseball that the Braves will try and extend Hudson, and he has indicated that he would take a "hometown discount" to stay in Atlanta, near his home and his family. The obstacle in signing Hudson is that it dedicates even more of the clubs limited salary budget to the starting rotation. It is believed that by signing Hudson, the Braves signify that they would then be inclined to trade one of their other high-priced starting pitchers, preferably either Derek Lowe or Kenshin Kawakami, but trading Javier Vazquez is also still an option.

Speaking of Vazquez; he's younger than Hudson and not coming off an injury, so shouldn't we also be in contract talks with him? Of course, Hudson is the more pressing issue right now, since he can become a free agent this off-season and Vazquez will not be a free agent until next off-season, but if we get Huddy wrapped up, then we should definitely try to sign Vazquez now. Though he would likely command a higher annual salary, he may command even more per year if his services are put up for bid on the free agent market in a year.

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