Twins Sign Orlando Hudson

5 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

I had just finished my Star Tribune Your Voices blog tonight (Twins Get A for Their Offseason). I posted it to Twitter, and when I went to Twitter to refresh, I saw that the Star Tribune’s Joe Christensen had tweeted that the deal was official. The Twins signed the 32 year old second baseman (and #2 hitter!) to a one year, $5 million deal.

Yes, I have spent all offseason saying that my preference would have been Felipe Lopez. However, I have also consistently said that Lopez and Hudson were the two players that could actually have an impact on the 2010 team. I think this is a nice signing. Is Hudson a great player? No. But he will be a great complement to this team both offensively and defensively.

I encourage people to read the Your Voices blog for a lot more thoughts on the Twins offseason. I would also welcome any of you who would like to apologize to Bill Smith and the entire Twins front office to do so in the Comments section.

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34 Responses to “Twins Sign Orlando Hudson”

  1. Andrew February 5, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Bill Smith,

    You may have been a bit gun shy after that Garza & Bartlett/Young & Harris trade, but now I see that it was just a phase. You have regained my trust.

    – Andrew

  2. JA February 5, 2010 at 1:06 am #

    I feel this is a perfect fit. We have Mauer, and great cast of follows. Tell me a better or more well rounded offensive team than this?
    Span
    Hudson
    Mauer
    Morneau
    Cuddyer
    Kubel
    Hardy
    Young
    Punto
    Wow! Great line-up. Ave. obp. and power with a little speed mixed in, prefect.
    AL east just started to shake!

  3. Jack Steal February 5, 2010 at 1:29 am #

    MR. Smith,

    You proved me wrong this off-season with a great trade for J.J. Hardy and picking up free agents Carl Pavano, Clay Condrey, and one of the best all around second baseman Orlando Hudson. I hope you have enough dough left for Joe Crede and Jarrod Washburn but if not this team is still a force to be reckened with in MLB. I sincerely apologize for all the negative stuff said by me and thanks for all the hard work.

  4. John February 5, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Apologize for what? Did Smith also get Garza back and more prospects from the Mets?

    Certainly, there have been a number of good moves made recently. I hope it continues. But it doesn’t change the fact that mistakes were made in the past.

  5. Greg February 5, 2010 at 4:14 am #

    Bill smith has done a super job.. Young is blooming into the player they thought to be. Santana forced the Twins hand to get what they could. He is out the american league.

    Guerra could devlop as the las t cog, but they got some good players in return for 2 of the 3.

    I still want Crede for 3rd. Non roster invitee.

    Way to go Twins!

  6. roger February 5, 2010 at 7:25 am #

    Hi Seth, Great addition. My question is who goes from the 40-man roster. Will they finally complete a small trade of someone for a A or AA prospect? Casilla? Tolbert? Perkins? This certainly doesn’t leave any playing time for Casilla or Tolbert. Tolbert can go back to AAA, Casilla is out of options. Unless they can trade Perkins, I gotta believe the player waived will be Casilla.

  7. Dave February 5, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Why would anyone apologize? If you make foolish, costly moves,you get hammered. If you make a series of brilliant additions/prune unnecessary players, you get a standing ovation. Bravo to Bill Smith.

  8. Ricky February 5, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Quite the offseason from Bill Smith. Hudson and Hardy up the middle should give stability to the infield. the Twins have a right mix of players. Signing Hudson makes the bench better also because it puts Punto there.

    Not that i think it will happen, but Hank Blalock is still also out there. I think he’d come for cheap. I havent heard too many teams having interest in him. Get him and the line up looks good.

  9. BB-STC February 5, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    I think Tolbert would be th eone to go. Since the Hudson deal is only one year, we may need Casilla for 2011.

  10. mike wants wins February 5, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Very nice offseason so far. Not fully convinced trading Gomez was the right idea, but I get why he did it. I won’t apologize for ripping the terrible trades of Santana and Young. Why would I? Those were terrible trades.

    This offseason, however, appears to have been a very good one. I like (or understand) every move made so far. Not a super fan of the allocation of resources in the bullpen, but it does not appear to have hindered them acquiring a 2B so it no longer bothers me. I am sure Hardy is an upgrade at SS. I am sure Hudson is an upgrade at 2B. Punto can be the sub he should be. Thome is a nice addition (if they can figure out who moves to the OF when he pinch hits). I’m hopeful that if Young isn’t good, they move Kubel out the field sooner than later, though my top hope is that Young is finally getting good. His weight loss is a nice sign he may be taking his OF defense more seriously.

    So, I won’t apologize for ripping him for his past mistakes, why would I? But, I will certainly praise his work this offseason (assuming he does the one thing that hasn’t been done yet, that needs to be done).

  11. Seth February 5, 2010 at 10:05 am #

    No need to apologize for past mistakes (if that’s what they were). I would argue that there isn’t much he can do about them at this point though. A lot of Twins fans didn’t believe that the Twins would spend money or address their needs this offseason, even with the additional revenue potential of Target Field. Well, they definitely have addressed needs and spent money.

    Twins fans are happy about 1.) Hudson signing, 2.) Thome signing, 3.) Hardy acquisition… now it’ll be interesting to see how they feel if any of those guys don’t come through with solid seasons. That’s why I think it’s important to consider any transaction at the time of the deal, as much as the results. The DY/Garza/Harris/Bartlett trade made sense for the Twins at the time. Bill Smith got what he could from the Mets in a trade that he had to make, a deal that was left to him by Terry Ryan.

  12. Joe February 5, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    This team will win the division in my opinion. They have the best lineup of the 5 (KC, DET, CLE and CHW). They have the best bull pen (pending on Pat Nasty) and their rotation my not have the flash of a Verlander, Grienke or Peavy but they have the most depth and the biggest Wild Card in Fransisco Liriano.

    My question is this. We all know New York will probably finish with the best record in baseball again (even though I have little confidence in Javier Vasquez in that ball park and they regressed in production by replacing Jonny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Melky Carbera with Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson.) So if the Twins finish with the same record as last year, they will have to go back to Bronx and have to win 3 out of 5 from the defending World Series Champions. Can they do that? OR with the balance in the AL West now, can the Twins somehow finish second in the entire AL and host a playoff series against the Wild Card most likely Boston or Tampa Bay (my pick is the Rays). That I would like very much.

    Dream Scenario prediction for playoff teams.
    Yankees host Texas
    Twins host Rays.

  13. Seth February 5, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    The Twins could have beaten the yankees last year. They had a blown save chance in Game 2 and they could have won Game 3. Game 1 was what it was.

  14. mike wants wins February 5, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    First, I really like this offseason. I really like this offseason.

    I agree with your premise that we should judge transactions when they happen (like not saying “he got hurt, good thing we didn’t trade for him” when assessing a non-move).

    But, I don’t agree that the Young/Garza trade made sense when it happened. Many of us questioned it when it was made, many. The premise of trading from strength made sense, but that specific trade did not make sense. So, I’ve praised him for doing what he tried to do, but I rip him for what he did specifically.

    He could have kept Santana, and tried harder to win that year, and gotten two number 1 picks….but I’ll agree that trade was somewhat out of his hands. He was put in a terrible spot, and I don’t know how he wins that one at all. So, maybe it is somewhat unfair to rip him for that one, and if Hardy turns out to be very good, it may have worked out anyway.

    As for the money, the owners have kept their commitment so far. As long as they sign Mauer, I’ll agree they’ve earned their new stadium, in year 1.

  15. yossarian February 5, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Apologize? Until yesterday the team was basicly the same as last yrs team that was .500 for most of the year. Unless hudson really falls apart he should make them better. We still need hardy to make a come back and cuddy, kubel, span and mauer to not fall off a lot from career years. It does look however that billy has a solid team as the central div goes. Is it good enough to win a playoff game? a playoff series? Time will tell but it should be fun watching this year if the pitching holds up. Have another drink of kool aid seth!

  16. JimCrikket February 5, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Who’s got a list of what the 40-man roster was yesterday? The Twins’ web site has Hudson already listed on the 40-man and if I’m counting correctly, there are still only 40 players listed… so someone on the list yesterday isn’t there today.

  17. JA February 5, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    Seth, lets not forget this past season, where they knew they would need to go over slot to sign Gibson. This along with all the money they spent internationally, Sano, Kepler, Polanco. They said a new stadium would bring increased revenve steams, they talked the talk, and now are walking the walk. What a great time to be Twins fan.
    And oh by the way, they have 5-6 players on the roster that can be talked about as being the best at their position in the entire sport. This is a long way from Ron Coomer being our all-star player. Go Twins!

  18. MrHockey February 5, 2010 at 11:25 am #

    Hudson is listed on the 40 man roster on the Twins’ website but Thome is not.

  19. JimCrikket February 5, 2010 at 11:27 am #

    Yeah, MrHockey, I just noticed Thome’s absence as well. That seems… odd.

  20. rghrbek February 5, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    I’m not apologizing to Billy Smith, as his criticisms by many people were well deserved (see Gleeman’s blog). However, I will praise him for this signing!

    Like you I wanted Lopez, as I figured we could get him cheap and for two years (so we are not going thru this problem again next year), but this really takes care of a glaring weakness in our line up.

    Kudos to the Twins for stepping it up this off season!

  21. CG February 5, 2010 at 11:46 am #

    Seth,
    Assuming the Twins carry 12 pitchers, how do you see the bench shaping up over the season?
    1.Harris
    2.Morales
    3.Thome
    4.Pridie, Casilla or Tolbert? I leave the infielders in as options, because I think Gardy would be more apt to pinch hit for Punto, Hardy, and/or Hudson

  22. joelthing February 5, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    Apologize, for what?

    Each of the last two seasons, the Twins played 163 games. Last year, they went to the first round of the playoffs.

    If the Twins had kept Santata, would they have gone deeper in 2008? Those two draft choices would still be languishing in the minors with as much potential, as, say Delois Guerra, who COULD still be a stud and may be a year away.

    For Johan, we saved money and got Hardy and Rauch. We also got a little Humber, very little Mulvey, and a couple years of Go-Go Gomez, who at least energized the fan base and sold a lot of jerseys.

    We lost Bartlett and we lost Garza. But we got Young, who is still…young. Look for a breakout year and some decision-making by the Twins. Harris is no Bartlett, but he hasn’t embarassed himself. Pridie is still hanging in the wings (where is Morlan?).

    It’s nice to have some additional monies to deal with. That’s how Hudson made it, Pavano signed. Thome was a steal.

    Don’t yell at Smith. Trading Garza for Young was a no-brainer, on paper at least. The Twins needed an outfielder and had extra pitching, especially one with an “attitude.”

    And, remember, the Twins were competitive each of the last years, and more besides that. Either the division really sucks, or Smith is doing something half-assed right!

  23. TT February 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    The last time there was this much love for Bill Smith in the blogsphere was right after he traded Matt Garza for Delmon Young. What a breath of fresh air he was! …

    My guess is this lovefest will last until the first blowout on the mound. At which point there will be loud complaints about Smith’s “failure” to add pitching.

    I don’t think Smith has anything to apologize for any more than Terry Ryan did. The Twins have been competitive for a decade and still look to have an even brighter future. That is no mean trick on a limited payroll.

    The Twins strategy doesn’t seem to have changed. The extra payroll means they can get a Hudson and Thome instead of settling for a Crede, Batista or Monroe. They can add a Pavano, instead of a Hernandez or Ortiz.

  24. dean Jarosek February 5, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    I watched hudson and lopez in Arizona,

    Hudson, clutch hitter, defense decent, great in clubhouse, I mean great. He will make your team better. He works at his game. Has had a few injuries. Team player, great with fans.

    Lopez, great hitter with no one on, look at his RBI’s.
    Terrible defense, poor attitude in clubhouse, lazy, doesn’t run out ground balls for example. Not a team player, His attitude just sucks.

    You signed the right player in all phases of the game.

  25. dave February 5, 2010 at 1:16 pm #

    By the way, not to be greedy, but….Be interesting to see if the Twins actively consider going after Mike Lowell. Supposedly the Red Sox will pick up most of his salary.

  26. Jim H February 5, 2010 at 3:48 pm #

    I like what the Twins have done this offseason, but I agree with tt, there is no change in the Twins way of doing things. They had a little more money to spend and no one was willing to throw out multi-year contracts for either Pavano or Hudson. I suppose the economy and perhaps a bit more sense by GM’s are responsible for that. The Twins have long been unwilling to give out long term contracts to aging vets. This year, perhaps they got more talent than in the past but I don’t think that is a sure thing.

    Hudson is unlikely to be much better than Castillo was, Pavano has to stay healthy. I really like the trade for Hardy, but Gomez could become a big star, I doubt that Hardy will. I think Smith probably made his team better in the short term. Since he didn’t give up that much in terms of prospects to do that, I am happy. In the long term, some talent needs to develop on the farm.

  27. mort February 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm #

    Another plus for this offseason is that the Pavano, Hudson, Condrey and Thome signings are just one year. Rauch’s deal is up this year also meaning $17.7 mil will come off the payroll next year. The Twins will also have options on Cuddyer, Kubel, and Punto totalling about $20 mil, so even after extending Mauer, they will have some payroll flexibility.

  28. Lee Henschel February 5, 2010 at 5:34 pm #

    Just noticed the Twins added Hudson to their 40-man roster, but not Thome? What’s going on here?

    Great signings all the way around. The Twins should easily win the Central Division, and make the playoffs. They could struggle against the Yankees still for the World Series, but you never know.

  29. Mark February 5, 2010 at 8:32 pm #

    Apologize for what? The Twins management has always done a very good job on a limited budget their miser owners give them.

    But here we are totally EXCITED because we have signed a $5 million/year free agent. Hell, Nick Swisher makes more than that. This move is a good one and fits into the Twins needs, but it is still a minor deal. Our ownership gives us nothing.

    THe Twins are the cheapest organization in the entire MLB. For example, I am friends with someone related to Jim Rantz. Rantz is the Director of Player Development for the Twins and has been a member of the organization for 50 years. Yet, until just two years ago when he went on the road for travel he had to SHARE a hotel room with other staff. Our executives fly coach. I know because I split time between Mpls and Ft Myers and see them on the plane, stuffed into the back (Terry Ryan reads stat charts for the entire flight). The executives from other teams RIDICULE their Twins counterpart about this.

    So, the signings were great. But why didn’t we sign Thome when he was in his prime? For $12 million/year or so we could have signed him in 2003. Even with his contract the Twins would still have been in the bottom of the MLB in team payroll. Playing in the Metrodome Thome would have been a 50+ HR hitter with probably about a .450 OBP. Put that bat in our lineup and suddenly the Twins are not just making the playoffs because they are in the weakest division in the majors, but actually contending for a World Series title.

    But our owners are too cheap to even consider such a move and the have now conditioned us to be excited because we made a $5 million deal.

    • TT February 5, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

      Mark –

      Its the miser fans who are the problem. If they could raise ticket prices high enough maybe the executives could fly first class.

  30. Bill in Sarasota February 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    If they can’t trade Casilla, who do they drop off the 40?
    -Casilla
    -Plouffe
    -Hughes
    -Butera

    I would keep Casilla through Spring Training to have more time to trade him and to protect against an injury.

    Plouffe doesn’t seem to fit any ideal role. I would drop him even though he’s young. Again, this would only occur if the Twins can’t get any decent value for Casilla.

    • joelthing February 6, 2010 at 1:28 am #

      Hughes…he getting older (than Plouffe) and is blocked by Valencia, not to mention Tolbert at the moment.

      Butera could be an interesting drop. But if you have to add him back, then what. I doubt that Wilson Ramos is ready to bench sit in Minnesota, although it would be an interesting option.

      Does Jose Morales still have one or two options years?

    • TT February 6, 2010 at 8:46 pm #

      Butera is almost a lock to start in the big leagues this year. He certainly would not clear waivers. In fact, I doubt the Twins have anyone they can get through waivers.

      I think Hughes is the most likely. I would add Tolbert and Pridie list of possible, but I think they everyone else is a real long shot. They may be ready to give up on Plouffe or Casilla, but I doubt it.

      • Bill in Sarasota February 6, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

        I think Tolbert replaces Punto next year as the utility guy and provides depth at AAA this year.
        Pridie is needed since no one else can play CF behind Span.
        My guess is probably Hughes but I don’t see a role for Plouffe. He’s not a top defensive SS and doesn’t have a bat for 3B. However the Twins will be afraid to drop him since he’s a former 1st round pick.

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