It appears as though Tim Hudson's name is going to be tossed about in trade conversations over the next several weeks.
And you know what? It's a smart move. At least to start feeling the Tim Hudson market out.
The A's are unlikely to keep Hudson because frankly, he's outperformed the scope of the franchise. By that, I mean, that he's too expensive for the A's to keep without hanging most of their entire budget on two players, Chavez and now Hudson.
So, while the Newark Star-Ledger is claiming that Hudson is on the block for Posada, and the Boston Herald is claiming that Hudson could be considered for Trot Nixon, the truth is that Hudson would likely be gone after this year any way.
Billy Beane is not stupid enough to trade a pitcher of Hudson's caliber unless he feels like the chances to resign the stud righty are remote at best. Beane has always been rumored to love Nixon and if he can somehow also get Kevin Youkilis included in the deal, then I think Beane seriously contemplates it.
Mulder and Zito, on the other hand, have struggled just enough to hurt their perceived value. Zito has been inconsistent since the 2002 Cy Young season and Mulder has struggled with injuries at key times, not to mention his stumbling finish this year.
I'm not saying this because I want it to happen. I don't think you can ever get enough for a pitcher of Hudson's caliber.
Hudson may not be on the block. It might just be some overzealous East Coast media types starting these rumors (surprise, surprise!), but trading anyone on the team, especially someone entering his final year of a contract, is a very real possibility so we better get ourselves mentally ready for a deal like this.
Next week there will be general manager meetings in Florida, and if you think the rumors are flying now, just you wait. It's only the beginning.