Fans of the Washington Nationals woke to a report by ESPN.com's Tim Kurkjian (INSIDERS ONLY) entitled, "Kurkjian: Hudson, Nats close", which quoted an anonymous source who reported that the Nationals and free agent second baseman Orlando Hudson were close to agreeing on, "...a one-year deal with a club option for a second year...which would be for $3 million with incentives that could easily reach $4 million for 2010." That was at 7:22 am EST.
A little later in the morning, however, came two reports via Twitter, from MLB.com's Bill Ladson and from Mr. Kurkjian's ESPN colleague Buster Olney, both of which reported that the Nationals were not the only team in the Hudson chase. MLB.com's Bill Ladson's Twitter post read, "I was told the #Indians, #Rockies and another American League team -- not the Twins -- are also in the mix for 2B Orlando Hudson," but, Mr. Ladson's next Tweet read, "Orlando Hudson wants to sign with #Nats real bad," though, the last in the series of messages read, "Hudson appears unwilling to play for the #Nats at a discount, according to the source."
ESPN.com's Buster Olney's Hudson-related Tweets came out at about the same time as Mr. Ladson's, though Mr. Olney was reporting that his sources contradicted at least one claim Mr. Ladson's made:
"Just filed a note for rumor central: Twins appear to be serious in their pursuit of Orlando Hudson.He would be a strong fit, in many ways."
A few hours later, Mr. Olney returned with another Tweet which read:
"Nick Punto had surgery. Maybe this is why Twins are in on talks for Orlando Hudson, rather than focusing on pitching.
Are the Twins in or out on Hudson? Are the Nationals on the verge of inking the second baseman they've pursued all winter? Here's what Nationals' Skipper Jim Riggleman had to say about the Orlando Hudson rumors this morning in an interview with XM host and Nats/MASN color commentator Rob Dibble and his "Baseball This Morning" cohost Steve Davis:
"I've talked to Mike (Rizzo) a couple times, he feels confident that we're going to get that done, but then, as you say, the next thing you know you read where we are far apart. (Hudson's) a talented guy, so he's getting some interest from some other teams. I think he's probably a little bit torn with what his contract has looked like in the past as opposed to what not only he but some other people are getting this winter, and it may be a little bit of a hard pill to swallow. The part that's a little bit tough on him probably is that he's got a lot of friends on our ballclub who are pushing him to come our way, so, I think that as a couple of guys have said, we're his first choice, but he doesn't want to sign a deal he's not going to be happy with I'm sure."
MLB.com's Bill Ladson says the decision from Hudson should come at some point this week.