Hudson Deal Not Done Yet; Reliver Claimed

As Mark Twain once said, "Rumors of my death are highly exaggerated." So too was the rumor of Tim Hudson coming to Los Angeles for one-time wonderkind Edwin Jackson and rookie Antonio Perez.

A report that Hudson's agent, Paul Cohen, "confirmed" a trade that would send Hudson to the Dodgers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jackson and Perez.

"I spoke with an executive from another team, and that's what I've heard," Cohen was said to have told the paper. "Until I hear from the principals, that's where we stand."

Hudson laughed and said, "If Paul has a trade confirmed, he would have called me, and he didn't."

A's spokesman Jim Young said he was not aware a deal had been made. A's general manager Billy Beane was not available for comment.

Hudson, 29, is 92-39 with a 3.30 ERA in his six seasons with the A's. He will be paid $6.75 million next season, the last of a four-year deal. Hudson is seeking a contract extension before the start of the season and is expected to command a four-year deal worth about $50 million.

Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta, a former assistant to Beane, has been trying to bolster a pitching staff which currently consists of Brad Penny, Kazuhisa Ishii and Jeff Weaver. Penny was hurt the final two months of the season and Ishii was left off the Dodgers' postseason roster after struggling with consistency.

Odalis Perez was offered arbitration by the Dodgers, but DePodesta said he is confident Perez will accept a multiyear offer elsewhere.

Though he struggled with injuries at Triple-A last season, Jackson, 21, is a highly coveted young fireballer. He is 4-2 in 12 appearances (eight starts) in the Majors.

"The guy's just 21," DePodesta said at the start of the Winter Meetings. "He should be a junior in college and he'd be the first pick in the draft. I'm incredibly high on Edwin. I think he's one of the best pitching prospects in the game."

Perez hit .296 with 22 homers and 88 RBIs at Triple-A Las Vegas last season.

Reliever claimed
The Dodgers also claimed lefthanded reliever Frank Brooks from the Pirates. Brooks has seven days to either accept or reject the claim.

Brooks, 26, went 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA, 18 strikeouts and five home runs in 17 1/3 innings during 11 Major League games in 2004 and was 6-3 with a 4.10 ERA for Triple-A Nashville. He was designated for assignment by the Pirates on December 11.

The left-hander was taken in last year's Rule 5 Draft by the Oakland A's, when current Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta was the A's assistant general manager. Boston claimed Brooks from the A's in March, then returned him to the Pirates.

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