Orlando Hudson Rumors

Rockies Notes: Prado, Millwood, Hudson

The Rockies have been busy this evening. They traded Chris Iannetta to the Angels for Tyler Chatwood and agreed to terms with Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal. Here are the rest of the day’s notes on the Rockies:

Pads Feel It’ll Be Easier To Deal Bartlett Than Hudson

Earlier this week we heard that the Padres hope to trade either Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson this offseason, and today Dan Hayes of The North County Times heard from a source that the team believes it will be easier to trade Bartlett because of his contract (Twitter links). The Padres think they'd have to eat part of Hudson's deal to get actual prospects back.

The double play combo are the only players San Diego has under contract next season. Bartlett, 32, will earn $5.5MM in 2012 after hitting .245/.308/.307 in 2011. Like many of his teammates, he hit better away from Petco Park: .265/.323/.330 with 16 doubles. Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 423 plate appearances next season, otherwise he will be owed a $1.5MM buyout.

Hudson, 34 next month, hit the disabled list twice due to hamstring strains this past season. He hit .246/.329/.352 with seven homers and 19 steals when healthy, and is owed $7MM in 2012. As our Free Agent Tracker shows, middle infielders like Jamey Carroll, Mark Ellis, and Aaron Hill have signed multi-year contracts this winter, all worth between $3.25MM and $5.5MM per season. Clint Barmes is poised to join them as well.

NL West Links: Street, Furcal, Prado, Rockies

The latest out of the National League West..

  • Rockies closer Huston Street is a name to keep in mind for the Red Sox, tweets Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
  • Based on multiple conversations with executives and agents, Troy Renck of The Denver Post tweets that the Rockies are not in on free agent Rafael Furcal.  The shortstop is seeking a two-year deal in the $16MM range.
  • The Rockies don't feel as though they have to give up a center fielder to get Martin Prado from the Braves in a trade, so there is still hope for a deal, Renck tweets.  
  • If Prado isn't a possibility for the club, Orlando Hudson might be, says Renck (via Twitter).  However, the club is divided on whether he fits or if they would be better off turning to internal options instead.
  • Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd is after a "No. 3 or No. 4" pitcher, writes Troy Renck of The Denver Post.  The team's search has led them to talks with Roy Oswalt, and the team is being aggressive in their pursuit, according to several agents and executives, Renck tweets.  While Oswalt is interested, he's in no rush to sign with anyone.
  • Dodgers owner Frank McCourt will sell 100% of the team but retain the land outside of the Dodger Stadium parking lots in a deal that could be worth upwards of $1.3 billion, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
  • FOX Sports released a statement on the Dodgers' lawsuit against them and termed the action as the "latest chapter in the current owner's ongoing scheme to avoid honoring his contractual obligations," tweets Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times.

Marlins Offered Jose Reyes Six Years, $90MM

The Marlins offered $90MM over six years to Jose Reyes, a source told Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  They say Reyes is intrigued by playing in warm weather and for Ozzie Guillen.  Reyes wants a contract worth a minimum of $100MM, however, tweeted Joel Sherman of the New York Post yesterday.  More from Rosenthal and Morosi…

  • The Marlins have not discussed moving Hanley Ramirez to center field.
  • Many in the industry are skeptical of the sincerity of the Marlins' early offers to Reyes, Albert Pujols, Mark Buehrle, and Ryan Madson, feeling the proposals are competitive but not good enough to accept.  
  • The Rangers and Angels are among the teams that are interested in both C.J. Wilson and Roy Oswalt.  The Nationals prefer Oswalt.  Both pitchers are clients of Bob Garber.
  • Heath Bell could benefit from the new collective bargaining agreement if teams no longer have to surrender a draft pick to sign Type A free agents who turned down arbitration.  Ramon Hernandez too, in my opinion.  I'm surprised to hear that such a change could be instituted for the 2012-13 offseason, after some teams made July trade decisions based on the old free agent compensation system.
  • The Padres want to trade Jason Bartlett or Orlando Hudson.  They are currently the only two players the Padres have under contract.  Bartlett's $5.5MM option for 2013 will vest with 432 plate appearances in 2012.
  • Rafael Furcal has drawn interest from the Rockies, Tigers, and Blue Jays as a second baseman, but he prefers to remain at shortstop.
  • Rosenthal and Morosi say not to rule out the Giants on Carlos Beltran yet.
  • The Angels will know more about Kendrys Morales' condition after January 1st.  Morales is still recovering from a fracture in his leg suffered in May of 2010.

NL West Notes: Hudson, Soon-Shiong, Rockies, Hill

The Diamondbacks have been one of baseball’s busiest teams so far this offseason. GM Kevin Towers and manager Kirk Gibson agreed to extensions and John McDonald, Henry Blanco and Willie Bloomquist have all re-signed with the defending NL West Champions. Here’s the latest from the division…

  • If the Rockies are indeed interested in Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson, Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune doubts the Padres would be willing to pick up any of Hudson's salary in a trade.  Hudson will earn $5.5MM in 2012, with an $8MM option for 2013 that can be bought out for $2MM.  Center also discusses several other Padres topics in his weekly chat with fans, such as the possibility of moving in the fences at Petco Park.
  • Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong told Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles that he has been approached by at least one of the groups trying to buy the Dodgers.  Soon-Shiong is considered to be the richest man in Los Angeles and bought a 4.5% share of the L.A. Lakers last year.
  • The Rockies aren't going to revisit their pursuit of Michael Young, tweets Troy Renck of the Denver Post.  Colorado and Texas were very close to a deal involving Young last winter in the wake of Young's trade request, but Young settled things with Rangers management and now there is "no motivation for [the] Rangers to move him."
  • Also from Renck, he doesn't think the Rockies will look to move Matt Belisle this winter, though Matt Lindstrom could be available.
  • As part of a reader mailbag, MLB.com's Chris Haft was surprised that the Giants needed to include Ryan Verdugo along with Jonathan Sanchez in the deal that brought Melky Cabrera to San Francisco.  That said, Haft writes "it's conceivable that the Giants might have obtained the most that Sanchez and Verdugo would bring."
  • The Rockies “love” Jamey Carroll, but wouldn’t be interested in signing him to a multiyear deal, according to Renck (Twitter links). The former Rockies infielder is nearing a multiyear deal with Twins.
  • The Rockies aren’t likely to sign Michael Cuddyer, but they continue pursuing Martin Prado, Renck reports.
  • The Diamondbacks have a multiyear offer on the table to Aaron Hill and it expires Monday, according to Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com (on Twitter). If Hill signs, the Diamondbacks will turn their attention to starting pitching.
  • Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests the Giants should re-sign Carlos Beltran to a two or three-year deal.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post

Rockies Notes: Fowler, Prado, Hudson, Barmes

The Rockies have asked the Braves about Martin Prado, who could play second base for Colorado in 2012. Here’s a follow-up on the trade talks and an update on some alternatives at second base…

  • Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler is off-limits in trade talks, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Twitter links).
  • The Braves and Rockies are expected to keep lines open about a possible deal involving Prado, according to Renck. Fowler won't be going to Atlanta, but the Braves do like Seth Smith.
  • The Rockies have had internal conversations about trading for Padres second baseman Orlando Hudson or signing former Rockie Clint Barmes, according to Thomas Harding of MLB.com. The Rockies sent Barmes to the Astros a year ago this month and he responded with a .244/.312/.386 line and solid defense in Houston.

Red Sox Notes: Epstein, Wallach, Lackey, Padres

Here's the latest from Fenway Park…

  • "People around the game [are] getting [the] idea that" Theo Epstein will likely remain as Boston's GM, reports Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (Twitter link).  Yesterday, Heyman reported that "a slight majority" of people around baseball believed Epstein would turn down a job offer from the Cubs.
  • Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach is under consideration for the manager's job, reports Michael Silverman of the Boston Globe.  Wallach "is still at the stage of being considered for an interview," according to several sources.  Wallach's name was mentioned in connection with the open managerial jobs with the Dodgers, Marlins and Blue Jays last winter.
  • A Padres official tells Tom Krasovic of the Inside The Padres blog that it "is not farfetched at all" that San Diego would consider a trade for John Lackey this winter.  Krasovic thinks Lackey could benefit from pitching at Petco Park and reuniting with Bud Black, who was Lackey's pitching coach with the Angels.  Krasovic proposes a trade that would require Boston to pay most of Lackey's salary, take Orlando Hudson in return and also send "a young big leaguer or a good prospect, or two" back to the Padres.  It sounds lopsided in San Diego's favor, but given how low Lackey's stock has fallen, the Red Sox will have to meet similar trade criteria in any potential Lackey deal.

Hoyer On Bell, Contracts, Pitchers, Hawpe, Hudson

Padres GM Jed Hoyer spoke with Darren Smith of XX1090 Sports Radio about the state of his team yesterday. You can download the mp3 of the 16-minute interview here, and here's a recap of the important hot stove items…

  • Unsurprisingly, Hoyer's primary focus is arbitration figures at the moment. MLBTR's Arb Tracker shows that the team still has five players up for arbitration, including Heath Bell and Ryan Ludwick.
  • Hoyer believes the team will be able to sign Bell before an arbitration hearing. While the two sides are open to and have discussed the possibility of a multiyear deal, right now the focus is on getting a contract for 2011 worked out.
  • Hoyer likes the idea of bringing recently retired players in to just hang around with his young ballclub. Obviously the most notable recently retired player is long-time Padre Trevor Hoffman, who is now working with the club in a front office capacity.
  • "As far as Major League deals, I'd never say never, but I think we're pretty much done," said the GM. The team is closing in on deals with Gregg Zaun and Chad Qualls, and they figure to sign a few more players to minor league contracts before camp opens up.
  • "I think writing guys off after one year is a mistake," Hoyer said, referring to the recently signed Brad Hawpe. He considers age a factor when determining if a player is on the decline for good, and Hawpe is still just 31 and only a year removed from three straight seasons with no worse than a .879 OPS.
  • Free agent pitchers have called Hoyer directly to say they'd love to pitch for the Padres. Hitters aren't as receptive to playing in Petco Park, however.
  • Hoyer doesn't think they overpaid Orlando Hudson when they gave the second baseman a two-year, $11.5MM contract. "I think we got him on a very reasonable two year deal."
  • Gaslamp Ball rounded up the non-hot stove items for those of you interested in learning about how much playing time they plan to give Nick Hundley as well as how much they value defense.

Contract Details: Saito, Beltre, Capuano, Hudson

Here are some recent updates on contracts from around the majors:

What Changed For Orlando Hudson

Orlando Hudson has been consistently productive this decade, but he signed the first multiyear deal of his career this month. Though Hudson's stats have fluctuated from season to season, it appears that his health and free agent ranking played more significant roles in determining his value on the open market.

The 33-year-old signed a two-year, $11.5MM deal with the Padres this offseason after agreeing to one-year contracts in each of the past two winters. Hudson signed a $5MM deal with the Twins for 2010 and a $3.8MM deal with the Dodgers for 2009.

At first glance, it appears that this offseason is the outlier, but teams were willing to offer the second baseman two-year contracts a year ago. The 2008-09 offseason is really the one that stands out.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported last offseason that the Indians offered Hudson a backloaded two-year, $10MM deal that included an option for a third year (Twitter link). The Nationals also appeared willing to offer Hudson a two-year deal at the right price last winter.

But in 2008-09, no teams appeared willing to make that sort of commitment to Hudson. It's probably not a coincidence that he was coming off a significant injury and was tied to draft pick compensation at the time. Hudson, who has finished the past two seasons in relatively good health, underwent surgery on his left wrist at the end of the 2008 season and didn't play after August 9th. It seems that his wrist operation detracted from his value. 

It cost a top draft pick to sign Hudson in the 2008-09 offseason, since the D'Backs offered him arbitration and he was a Type A free agent. But Hudson was not tied to draft pick compensation this offseason or last offseason, which has made signing him easier for clubs to justify.

Though health and draft pick compensation appear to have been major factors in determining Hudson's value, they aren't the only ones. The four-time Gold Glover posted below average UZR/150 numbers at second base in 2008 and 2009, but the metric suggests his defense was much better last year (12.0 UZR/150). However, his batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage all dropped from 2008 to 2009 and again from 2009 to 2010.

Hudson didn't play in the 2008 postseason and was benched in favor of Ronnie Belliard down the stretch in 2009 and in that year's playoffs. Those postseason results were likely secondary to health and draft pick compensation, but I doubt it hurt that Hudson had four playoff hits, including a homer, in 2010.