The Washington Nationals, as part of a trio of moves, acquired right-handed relief pitcher Daniel Hudson from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hudson is a six-foot three-inch pitcher weighing 225 pounds. He is from Lynchburg, Virginia, and played his college ball at Old Dominion University. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox back in 2008 and has played for five different teams before the Nationals.
Last season, Hudson pitched 46 innings for the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers but did not make a postseason appearance. He signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent at the end of March of this year and has pitched well not just for the Jays, but for the Dodgers as well.
Over the last two seasons, which adds up to 94 innings pitched, Hudson has a 3.54 ERA with a 1.24 WHIP and a .216 opponents batting average allowed Hudson struck out 26.6% of the batters he faced, but his 10.0% walk rate is concerning.
Hudson’s career walk rate is 7.8%, so there is reason to believe he can cut back on the free passes he has handed out over the last two seasons.
Additionally, Hudson keeps the ball in the ballpark. His 1.10 HR/9 rate over the last two seasons is excellent, and his 10.5 HR/FB% is fantastic.
In exchange for Hudson, the Nationals sent Kyle Johnston to the Blue Jays. Johnston is a 23-year-old right-handed pitcher who was drafted by the Nationals in the 6th round of the 2017 MLB draft.
Johnston reached Class-A Potomac this year and posted 4.03 ERA in 105 innings pitched. He was the Nationals’ #27 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Overall, this trade is a net positive for the Nationals because it is addition by subtraction. This move won’t make the headlines on SportsCenter today, but it does allow the Nationals to get rid of some of the weaker links in the bullpen.