Rays Interested In Orlando Hudson

9:36pm: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (via Twitter) thinks "it's unlikely anything happens" between Tampa Bay and Hudson, noting that the Rays are happy with Zobrist, Reid Brignac and Sean Rodriguez at second base.  He does say, however, that the Rays "have interest in [a number] of free agents."

8:12pm: ESPN's Buster Olney reports (via Twitter) that Tampa Bay is "in on Orlando Hudson talks."  The plan would be to install Hudson at second base while Ben Zobrist gets moved to right field.  Olney says that the move "all depends on the price," which would presumably have to be significantly lower than Hudson's $9MM asking price.

The Nationals have been considered to be the leaders in the Hudson sweepstakes this winter, and MLB.com's Bill Ladson was told today by a source that the Nats "have a good chance" of signing the free-agent second baseman due to Hudson's close ties to Adam Dunn and Willie Harris

Ladson also went straight to the horse's mouth and talked to Hudson himself, who told Ladson that "progress had been made."  The interview also included this interesting passage from Hudson that cited two other teams in the hunt:

"I will sign soon enough. You can put it on the Internet and on TV. I'm going to sign. I can't say exactly when. It will not be long. I can't say if it's with the Nationals, San Diego or Cleveland. I can't say with whom. Something is getting done."

The Padres could be a longshot if, as MLB.com's Corey Brock tweeted earlier today, they've completed their winter shopping following the signing of Jon Garland.  The Tribe also seem like unlikely suitors given Hudson's contract demands.


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