Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Orlando Hudson

The Twins made a big splash yesterday by signing their second ex-Dodger, Orlando Hudson. This is excellent news because Hudson fills two needs. A secondbaseman and a #2 hitter. Last season with the Dodgers Hudson hit .283/.357/.415, that will look pretty damn good between Span and Mauer.  Defensively, Hudson has lost a step or two lately, but that didn’t stop him from winning a gold glove in 2009. He had a pretty bad UZR/150 number (-3.7), but he must be flashy enough that people think he deserved one.   Regardless, I think he will be adequate defensively, especially if Punto is covering some extra ground at third.

Last season Hudson was paid $3.4 million, but according to fangraphs he was worth a cool $13 million. He was worth 2.9 wins above replacement in 2009, nothing to sneeze at.

For $5 million dollars and one year, I think this is an excellent signing. The biggest question has to be what happens to Punto? There is no way Gardy doesn’t start him, and I guess I don’t have a huge problem with him starting at third. Maybe platooning with Harris, who has historically hit well against lefties. I see the batting order working out like this Span-CF Hudson- 2B Mauer-C Morneau-1B Cuddyer- RF Kubel-DH Hardy- SS Young- LF Punto/Harris- 3B

That’s a pretty solid lineup. Throwing in Thome every once in a while won’t be taking a step backwards, like it usually is when you rest a starter.

So the way I see it, the Twins payroll is now around 95 or 96 million.  I’m glad the Pohlad family wasn’t just blowing hot air when they said payroll would increase with the opening of Target Field.  Everyone get excited, spring training is just around the corner.


9 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 5th, 2010 8:43 am

    I’m absolutely thrilled about this signing.

    I agree with LEN3, who said this is the best team the Twins have had coming into Spring Training in the 13 years he’s been covering the team.

    If you’re a Twins fan, you simply must be excited right now.

  2. MarkW February 5th, 2010 8:47 am

    Damn straight! Not only does this put Tolbert back in AAA, but it will limit our two worst offensive players… Punto/Harris. We also fill a huge need w/ Punto being able to play all 3 INF positions (as he should be used)… We now have the best 1/2 hitters I’ve seen in a long time as well… maybe ever. Span/Hudson/Mauer all with high OBP %’s, for Morneau/Cuddy/Kubel to drive them in… and we finally have a 7,8,9 combo that could do some damage…

    Wow, February and I’m this pumped up about April!

  3. rghrbek February 5th, 2010 11:41 am

    It’s a great signing no doubt. It doesn’t solve our 2b problems for next year, since we really don’t have anything in the minors at that position, but non the less they have stepped up.

    Good signing Billy boy!

  4. sirsean February 5th, 2010 11:46 am

    Presumably Hudson still thinks he’ll be worthy of a multi-year deal next offseason (which is probably why he wanted the “please don’t offer me arbitration” clause like Orlando* Cabrera), and thus didn’t want to lock in this below-market salary for multiple years.

    We can re-address 2B again later on, but for now we’ve turned an incredibly weak infield (Morneau/Harris/Punto/Casilla) into a fairly strong one (Morneau/Hardy/Hudson/Punto), all in one offseason.

  5. FunBobby February 5th, 2010 2:51 pm

    Not to rain on everyones parade, but is anyone just a little disappointed that we didn’t go after one of the low risk/high reward pitchers like Harden, Bedard or Sheets? I guess it sounds kind of greedy, but would have been nice to make a serious run at one of them.

  6. sirsean February 5th, 2010 2:57 pm

    Harden & Sheets ended up being out of our price range (and if we’d signed them we wouldn’t have gotten Thome or Hudson).

    Bedard would have been interesting and affordable, but he’s out until July or later anyway.

    I was excited about going after one of the high risk/reward pitchers on the market this winter, but it didn’t work out. That’s not Smith’s fault; outbidding $10M for Sheets would have been a huge mistake, especially given that we don’t have that kind of money to spend.

  7. Ragstoriches February 5th, 2010 2:59 pm

    Considering the Twins actually went out and filled some needs which 1) they never do, and 2)they promised they’d do with the new stadium, I’m going to give them a pass on Harden/Bedard/Sheets.

  8. FunBobby February 5th, 2010 3:11 pm

    That makes sense. I didn’t realize how much Harden went for.

  9. sirsean February 5th, 2010 3:15 pm

    I was kind of surprised by Harden, but really surprised by Sheets.

    Of course, after those two set the market, I was even more surprised when Bedard signed. I’m beginning to think Jack Z has a ton of pictures of agents and GMs around the league; how else could he pull off all these absurdly team-friendly deals?

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