Hudson, Braves to resume negotiations

The Braves and pitcher Tim Hudson's agent plan to resume negotiations this week on a contract extension expected to be for "at least" three years, a person familiar with the situation said Sunday.

The parties last week began discussing a deal that could be worth $9 million or more annually for the 34-year-old right-hander. It's unclear if the team would go to a guaranteed fourth year or offer an option year.

If a deal is struck, the new contract would presumably replace a $12-million option the Braves hold on Hudson's contract for 2010. The club has until three days after the World Series to pick up or decline that option, the impetus for negotiating a new deal so soon after the season.

Hudson has the right to refuse the $12-million option and instead become a free agent. He said two weeks ago that he would prefer an extension rather than the option.

The Alabama native said he would take a "hometown discount" to stay with the Braves. Given the dearth of top free agent pitchers expected to be available this winter, Hudson on the open market could probably command more than $10 million annually in a multi-year deal.

He went 2-1 with a 3.61 ERA in seven late starts for the Braves in 2009 after a year-long recovery from ligament transplant elbow surgery. The former 20-game winner has a 148-78 career record with the Braves and Oakland Athletics.