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Hudson understands, welcomes Leake trade

ARLINGTON -- Maintaining his reputation as a team-first individual, Tim Hudson welcomed Thursday night's trade that brought Mike Leake to the Giants.

It didn't matter to Hudson that he relinquished his spot in the starting rotation to Leake as a result of the deal.

For one thing, Hudson remains bothered by a strained shoulder, which landed him on the 15-day disabled list Friday. Mostly, however, he wants what's best for the Giants.

If the Giants made Hudson a reliever, he would upset the balance of personnel in the bullpen. Not to mention that the 40-year-old has made exactly one relief appearance in his 475-game Major League career and probably would be ill-suited to a bullpen role.

"I wish I was pitching well enough to where we didn't have to make a move," Hudson said. "For us to win a world championship, we needed to bring somebody else into the rotation."

Hudson sounded thrilled that the addition was Leake.

"We got the best pitcher available," Hudson said. "This guy can really pitch. ... It was definitely an under-the-radar move. People will look on it as probably one of the best moves at the Trade Deadline this year."

As for Hudson, he'll continue to throw in the bullpen, strengthen his arm ... and wait.

"I could still pitch right now, probably," said Hudson, who's 6-8 with a 4.80 ERA. "But it's one of those things where I want to try to do what's best for the club, still get my work in, and be ready to pitch whenever they call me."

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
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