Orlando Hudson Rumors

Quick Hits: Zimmer, Boras, Draft, Dozier

The Rays will honor the late Don Zimmer by announcing that his #66 jersey will be retired in a ceremony on Opening Day.  Zimmer only wore #66 for one season during his 11 years as a senior advisor for the Rays, as he increased his uniform number by one every season to reflect how many years he had spent in baseball.  The beloved long-time coach, manager and player passed away last June.

  • Using Max Scherzer‘s signing with the Nationals as an example, Scott Boras discusses how he markets (though the agent dislikes that term) and presents his major free agent clients in an interview with Bloomberg’s Joshua Green.  Boras and his staff identify which teams are ideal fits for his clients and then specifically tailors each pitch to relate to each team owner during negotiations.  With Scherzer, Boras had four lengthy meetings with Nats owner Ted Lerner highlighting how Scherzer would create more value to the franchise both baseball-wise and from a business perspective.
  • MLB.com’s Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo debate which club has had the best farm system of the last five years.  Callis chose the Nationals since they’ve found more superstar talent, while Mayo picked the Cardinals due to their system’s overall depth.
  • The possibility of an international draft has been a topic of discussion throughout baseball lately, with proponents like commissioner Rob Manfred advocating a “single modality of entry” to allow consistency in the way MLB teams sign amateurs from various parts of the world.  Flipping the idea around, however, Rob Neyer of FOX Sports suggests that MLB could instead ensure consistency by abolishing the amateur draft.  Instead of a draft, MLB could allow teams to spend a predetermined amount on amateur players (be they domestic or international) each year. Neyer favors doing so in such a way that would stop baseball from penalizing winning by having the top teams take lower draft picks.  The idea could also be easily modified so that teams with the worst records would be able to spend more money.  In either case, Neyer believes his system would encourage all teams to hunt for talent both at home and abroad.
  • It’s becoming rare to see pre-arbitration players sign extensions that don’t cover at least one free agent year, yet Brian Dozier‘s new contract with the Twins is such a deal, Fangraphs’ Craig Edwards writes in his analysis of the extension.  Edwards thinks more players could possibly pursue “a safe deal” like Dozier’s if they “place an emphasis on getting to free agency.”
  • Orlando Hudson is in the Diamondbacks‘ camp to work with the infield, though he plans to be back on a diamond in more than an instructor role, MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert reports (via Twitter).  Hudson hopes to play winter ball and attempt a Major League comeback for the 2016 season.  The 37-year-old former Gold Glove second baseman last played in the bigs in 2012 and had seemingly hung up his spikes following brief stints in the Mexican and Dominican winter leagues in 2013.

White Sox Sign Orlando Hudson

The White Sox announced that they have signed infielder Orlando Hudson to a one-year deal.  The Padres released Hudson last Thursday afternoon and he agreed to terms with Chicago over the weekend.

The Legacy Sports Group client is expected to play some third base and back up Gordon Beckham at second base, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com.  Hudson turned down an opportunity to play regularly elsewhere in order to join the White Sox in this role.

Hudson has struggled at the plate, posting a .211/.260/.317 line in 131 plate appearances so far this season.  Once an elite fielder, Hudson has lost range and fielding ability in recent years, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III.  This year the four-time Gold Glove winner has started 33 games at second base, the only position he's played at the MLB level.

Peter Gammons of MLB.com first reported the agreement (via Twitter).  Ben Nicholson-Smith contributed to this post.

Giants Notes: Melvin Mora, Orlando Hudson

The Giants signed Brad Penny to a minor league contract last night, bringing the right-hander back as possible bullpen help. Here is the latest news out of San Francisco…

  • The Giants had one text conversation with Melvin Mora's agent according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com (on Twitter), but there was "absolutely no offer made." Mora recently told a Venezuelan newspaper that he had received offers from both the Giants and Reds.
  • Baggarly says (on Twitter) there is no consensus within the organization about signing the recently released Orlando Hudson. The Giants infield is short at the moment, but Pablo Sandoval will return soon and the club expects to get Freddy Sanchez back from his shoulder problems at some point.

Giants Monitoring Infield Market

The Giants have “put out feelers” for players on the trade market, VP Bobby Evans told Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. Baggarly suggests the Giants will take a hard look at Orlando Hudson, who will be a free agent once he clears release waivers.

The Padres released Hudson yesterday and despite his declining defensive and offensive skills, the switch-hitter could be a fit for the short-handed Giants. Emmanuel Burriss, Brandon Crawford, Joaquin Arias and Charlie Culberson are currently contributing for San Francisco with Freddy Sanchez, Pablo Sandoval and Ryan Theriot on the disabled list.

Padres To Release Orlando Hudson

The Padres have requested release waivers for second baseman Orlando Hudson, the team announced. The Padres placed shortstop Jason Bartlett on the 15-day disabled list and called up infielders Everth Cabrera and Alexi Amarista from Triple-A in related moves.

“We felt it was time to make a change,” GM Josh Byrnes said. “O-Dog has been a two-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove winner and a contributor to playoff teams, but at this point, we want to give our younger players an opportunity.”

Hudson has struggled at the plate, posting a .211/.260/.317 line in 131 plate appearances so far this season. Once an elite fielder, Hudson has lost range and fielding ability in recent years, according to The Fielding Bible Volume III. This year the four-time Gold Glove winner has started 33 games at second base, the only position he's played at the MLB level.

Hudson will earn $5.5MM this year, the final season of a two-year deal he signed following the 2010 campaign. The contract includes an $8MM option for 2013 and the Padres are responsible for the related $2MM buyout. ESPN.com's Keith Law first reported that the Padres were removing Hudson from the roster (Twitter link).

Bartlett, Hudson Not In Padres’ Long-Term Plans

The Padres' trade of reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Angels for two minor leaguers, including middle infielder Alexi Amarista, could signal major changes to come in the club's middle infield.  Second baseman Orlando Hudson and shortstop Jason Bartlett are not a part of the club's long-term plans, team sources told Dan Hayes of the North County Times.  Hayes adds that both could be released before the season is through.

Bartlett, 32, has a $5.5MM option for 2013 that vests with 432 plate appearances but San Diego could cut him loose before he reaches that point.  Bartlett currently has made 71 PA in 22 games this season and has surpassed 432 PAs in each of the last five seasons.

Like Bartlett, Hudson is set to earn $5.5MM in 2012.  The 34-year-old, off to a slow start this season, has an $8MM option for next season with a $2MM buyout.  Hudson inked a two-year deal with the Padres in December 2010 and hit .246/.329/.352 for San Diego last year.

Padres Prepared To Release Orlando Hudson

The Padres have the worst record in baseball at 3-12, and a shake-up could be on the horizon. Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that they are prepared to release Orlando Hudson if the veteran second baseman does not turn things around soon.

Hudson, 34, is hitting just .156/.191/.200 with one stolen base in 47 plate appearances this season, and Miller hears he has been a "non-presence" with younger players in the clubhouse. Utility infielder Andy Parrino started consecutive games at second base earlier this week. Hudson's release could coincide with the return of infield prospect Logan Forsythe, who will resume workouts this weekend after undergoing ankle surgery this spring.

Hudson signed a two-year, $11.5MM contract with San Diego last offseason. He is owed $5.5MM this season and the $2MM buyout of his $8MM club option for next season. The Padres will still have to pay him the full $7.5MM should they decide to cut ties.

Padres Rumors: Latos, Headley, Bartlett, Hudson

Last week we heard that the Padres aren't shopping right-hander Mat Latos, but today Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reminds us that the team isn't in the position to rule anything out. Here are Rosenthal's rumors out of San Diego…

  • Byrnes is "willing to talk about every player on his roster" and other clubs are inquiring about Latos, but Rosenthal reiterates that the 24-year-old isn't being shopped.
  • Third baseman Chase Headley is the player most in demand and most likely to be traded. The Tigers have interest in him, but the Padres are said to be asking for "the moon."
  • Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson are very available, but they're also drawing very little interest.
  • Rosenthal expects the Padres to be active at some point in soon.

NL West Rumors: Ludwick, Gillick, Padres, Rockies

The latest on various NL West clubs…

Mets Interested In Rauch, Lidge, Bailey

Mets GM Sandy Alderson is searching for a closer, but that’s by no means his team's lone offseason need. Here’s the latest, as the Mets work to build their first playoff team since 2006…

  • Free agent relievers Jon Rauch and Brad Lidge are “strong” on the Mets’ radar, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (on Twitter).
  • The Mets inquired on Andrew Bailey, but they don’t seem to be willing to meet Oakland’s asking price, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post (on Twitter). The Rangers, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Mariners and Reds are also interested in the former AL Rookie of the Year. 
  • Though previous Mets administrations liked Orlando Hudson and he’s now “very available,” the Mets aren’t currently interested, according to Sherman (Twitter link). The Padres owe Hudson $5.5MM in 2012 and the team has an $8MM option for 2013 ($2MM buyout).