In a radio interview Monday afternoon, Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson indicated that he doesn’t expect to remain with the team for his career or even the next few years. His agent has at least had extension discussions with the D’Backs’ front office though. Hudson is eligible for free agency after the 2008 season.
2006 was a breakout season for Hudson, but he just keeps getting better. He’s going to obliterate his career high in walks, and he’s hitting for more power than ever. And he’s known as one of the best defensive second basemen in the game. The only problem? Since joining the Diamondbacks, Hudson has hit .311/.391/.495 at home but .273/.341/.421 on the road.
Hudson makes $3.9MM this year, and during this upcoming winter he can be compared to his peers in the arbitration process. I’m not an expert on that but I think that’s how it works. Comparing Hudson to Chase Utley – who will make $7.5MM in ’08 – is a stretch. But I would not be shocked to see Hudson earning $5-6MM next season. He’ll be 30 years old at that point.
Alberto Callaspo, Mark Reynolds, and maybe even Scott Hairston are potential replacement options, if the Diamondbacks are willing to take a hit on defense. Josh Byrnes may elect to trade Hudson this offseason. The White Sox, Braves, Mets, or Astros could be interested. The Rockies wanted to trade for him way back in ’02. The Yankees and Mariners apparently inquired back in ’03. The Royals and Rangers expressed interest in ’05.
Hudson seems like an interesting character. Funny story – he was sent to Triple A in ’01 for saying J.P. Ricciardi looked "like a pimp." (Though to be fair, Hudson was also having a poor spring). Regardless, his six-year old minor "makeup issue" pales in comparison to Callaspo’s.