Hudson’s gritty path brings him to Steel City

PITTSBURGH — Three years ago, Daniel Hudson was working his way back from a second major reconstructive elbow procedure, wondering if he’d ever pitch in another game. He had undergone Tommy John surgery twice, grinding through two long rehabilitation programs, and he was still months away from getting on the mound.

But Hudson came all the way back, emerging as a solid late-innings reliever for the D-backs in 2015-16, and his perseverance was rewarded over the weekend when he agreed to a two-year, $11 million contract with the Pirates.

“If you’d asked me three years ago if I’d get to this point, I would have laughed in your face,” Hudson said Tuesday in a phone interview. “I didn’t even know if I was going to pitch again.”

The agreement was finalized when Hudson visited Pittsburgh over the weekend, but the Pirates have yet to formally announce, confirm or comment on Hudson’s signing. Pittsburgh must remove a player from its full 40-man roster before officially adding Hudson.

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This is not the end of Hudson’s path, but it is a fitting time to observe how far he’s come. Hudson’s journey was documented in “The Arm: Inside the Billion-Dollar Mystery of the Most Valuable Commodity in Sports” by Jeff Passan. Hudson blew out his elbow for the first time in June 2012. He had his second surgery in …

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