So we're back to the middle infield again today, with Orlando Hudson and the Washington Nationals linked by several media outlets, as DC GM Mike Rizzo looks to bolster his defense by adding a second baseman, (preferably) which would push Cristian Guzman back to short (WWD!!) and send Ian Desmond up north to Syracuse to start the season. Early this afternoon, in an update of FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi's, "Buzz: Latest from the MLB Offseason", Mr. Morosi wrote, in a section subtitled, "Nationals looking at Hudson?", that, "...One person with knowledge of Hudson’s market believes Washington would be willing to make him a two-year offer at the right price."
Shortly thereafter, MLB.com's Bill Ladson sent a message out on his Twitter feed in which he reported that Hudson, a 32-year-old free agent coming off a Gold Glove season, (during which he was benched by LA Manager Joe Torre in favor of former National Ronnie Belliard), "...wants $9 million for 2010, and the Nationals are not willing to give Hudson that kind of money." I asked MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling last week, in an email interview, if he thought that Washington was going to pursue Hudson, and it was Mr. Goessling's opinion that, "If you can get him for a year at $2 million, sure. But I don't see the Nats spending much more than that on someone like Hudson."
When he was in the lineup last season in LA, Hudson hit for a .283 AVG in 149 games and 551 at bats with a .357 OBP, .417 SLG (.774 OPS), 35 doubles, 6 triples, 9 HR' s, 62 RBI's, a (-3.7) UZR/150 and a (+2.9) WAR value. As I wrote the other day after MLB.com's Bill Ladson had filed an earlier report on the Nationals' interest in Hudson in an article entitled, "Davis has interest in Nationals", before the '09 season Hudson signed a 1-year/$3.38M dollar deal with Los Angeles that ended up earning the 32-year-old infielder, (according FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi's article , "Rockies shouldn't have to overpay for help"), "...a total of $7.9 million, including incentive bonuses."
So what will it take? Assuming the Nationals actually do want Hudson and the behind the scenes talks are stalled...2-years, which the Nationals are reportedly alright with, and $3-4M a year with incentives that could get Hudson up around the $8-9 million a year he's after? Can the Nationals afford that sort of deal? (With Guzman due to earn $8M in the final year of his deal?) You know where I stand on this one...Sorry, Orlando, (and I'll totally erase this and pretend it was never my opinion if Hudson signs), but I want to see what Ian Desmond can do...WE WANT DESMOND!! (clap clap clapclapclap) WE WANT DESMOND!! (clapclap clap clap clap)!!!
But here's the funny part...back in FOXSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi's article that started this talk today entitled, "Nationals looking at Hudson", Mr. Morosi mentions, in the final paragraph, that, "...Hudson has a history of injuries to his left wrist, which could make the physical examination a crucial step in an agreement with any club..." Uh, seriously? Will Hudson actually take a physical this time? Did he or did he not take a physical last winter? Where did that story end up again? Did or didn't? I can't remember...