Hudson: 'It's pretty close'

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The Atlanta Braves closed in on a
contract extension with pitcher Tim Hudson, who has one year left
on his current deal and doesn't want to talk money during the

Hudson, acquired from Oakland in December, set a Tuesday
deadline for extending his contract. Otherwise, he could become a
free agent after the season.

"It's pretty close," Hudson said Saturday. "We've just got a
few loose ends to clear up."

The 29-year-old right-hander is a former 20-game winner with a
career record of 92-39. Last season, he went 12-6 with a 3.53 ERA
in 27 starts, but spent a month on the disabled list with an injury
to his left side.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Hudson and the
Braves were discussing a three-year extension worth more than $11
million annually, with the possibility of two more years based on
innings pitched.

Hudson will make $6.75 million this season.

Braves general manager John Schuerholz had no comment on the

While Hudson might command more money on the free-agent market,
he is eager to remain with a team that has won 13 straight division

He grew up near Columbus, Ga., rooting for the Braves. Even
before the trade, he was planning to build a home in Auburn, Ala.,
about a two-hour drive from Atlanta. His parents already live in

"It's a winning organization with a history of great pitching
and a great coaching staff," Hudson said. "It's a great
situation. What other organization can say they've had a chance to
win the World Series the last 13 years? That's pretty remarkable.

"Plus, I have a lot of friends and family ties. That's going to
be a good situation."

Hudson became a Braves fan when they were one of the worst teams
in baseball.

"I remember that people liked the team -- they just weren't very
good," he said.

That all changed in 1991, when Atlanta went from last to first
and came within one win of a World Series championship. Since then,
the Braves have been a perennial postseason team.

Hudson hopes to be a part of that for more than one season.

"You want your family to be settled and comfortable," he said.
"It also makes it better for the player when you know where you're
going to be. You can get in your comfort zone."