Colletti confirms negotiations with Orlando Hudson

Not sure what changed, because the Dodgers had no interest in this guy earlier in the winter because of concerns about his offensive shortcomings, and defense at 2B didn’t seem to be a major priority because they have Furcal at SS and Loney at 1B, both of whom are superb glove men who cover a lot of ground. But the Dodgers do have an open 40-man spot. Ned was quick to say that this doesn’t mean the organization has doubts about Blake DeWitt’s ability as an everyday second baseman. But Hudson does have three Gold Gloves, he has a decent (.346) career OBP and he has enough gap power that he hits a lot of doubles. It sounds like the Dodgers are pretty serious about him, and he is another of those still-unsigned free agents. We’ll see.

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  • Marcel

    I thought the Dodgers were committed to keeping that 17th overall pick. It seems pretty shortsighted to hand it to a division rival to fill a non-need.

    There will be some VERY strong players available in that spot, unlike #35 or whatever supplemental pick we get for Lowe.

  • El Lay Dave

    Dear God save us from final Colletti damnation now. The Dodgers signing Hudson as a Type-A FA is a ludicrous idea, as Marcel points out. I also refuse to believe that ALL of DeWitt, DeJesus, Hu, Abreu, AND Loretta will flame out at 2B.

    BTW, Colletti is a lame duck on the last year of his contract. If he is already seriously entertaining thoughts like this, what will he be doing in the late summer if the Dodgers are in the race and he still doesn’t have an extension. Katie bar the door!

  • TeamHasHoles

    From a baseball standpoint, I don’t mind so long as it’s not a long term deal (1+option or something). What it does is potentially moves Casey Blake to the OF if Manny doesn’t sign or if Manny signs it might open things up for a trade of some young talent for top of the rotation horse. The #17 pick could be good, or might never pan out, that’s the thing with draft picks. At least you know what you’re getting with the O-Dawg.

    Either way, with Hudson that’s a pretty solid fielding infield for what pitching staff we do have. It gives the Dodgers a little more leverage on Manny (not that moving Blake is a GREAT move, but he’s certainly no worse defensively out there and would suffice at least in the NL Worst to start the season) and might free up some young talent for a deal to bring in more pitching which is what this team needs worse than Manny.

  • El Lay Dave

    “you know what you’re getting with the O-Dawg”

    Are you sure? The guy had wrist injuries each of the last two seasons. Scouts were saying he was showing less fielding range last year. He’s 31, not old, but not young, and some middle infielders quality decreases rapidly with age.

    Plus I think using your #1 pick to sign a TypeA FA on a one year deal is even worse.

  • TeamHasHoles

    Are you sure? The guy had wrist injuries each of the last two seasons.

    I’m pretty sure… first of all the guy has avg’d almost 500 AB’s a year for his career (not including his first season when he was called up halfway through the season in TOR). Look at the guy’s offensive numbers… they’re SHOCKINGLY consistent and his defense is unquestionably above average. And since when is being 31 something to be down on. The Dodgers employed an over-the-hill range-challenged curmudgeon-like future HOFer the last 4 seasons and I didn’t see too many people complaining (other than Milton Bradley & Matt Kemp, but I digress.)

    31 is the tail end of a player’s prime statistical years according to both Bill James and Elias and in Hudson’s case since, if he’s on a short-term deal, the Dodgers have him in a contract year (potentially) so health permitting, this could be a very shrewd move. He was injured during his last contract season, so it’s unfair to judge him based on it. They can certainly resign him if he prospers in L.A.. The Dodgers should certainly make him take a physical and make sure his wrist is in good shape, but it’s well rested. He hasn’t used it for baseball purposes since Aug 9th of last season, so if it’s structurely sound, there’s no reason to believe he can’t be the .300/.346 65 to 75 Run and 60 RBI guy he’s always been.

    DRAFT PICKS DON’T ALWAYS PAN OUT, ESPECIALLY HIGH ONES and the Dodgers still have a supplemental pick anyway!

  • bryboiblue

    There are people who would rather have a first-round draft pick than upgrade a position? Go figure.

    DeWitt is a nice kid and deserves to be on the team, but Hudson is a better hitter and better fielder, and for a team that, unless it signs Manny, is once again probably going to be struggling to score runs consistently, every little bit helps.

    Besides, What are the odds that we’re not down an infielder by mid-May anyhow, at which point, having the extra quality bat over bringing up someone from Triple-A will be a blessing. (Not to mention, that although it’s far from the end-all of statistics, his OPS last season was higher than that of not just DeWitt, but Martin, Blake, Loney and Kemp).

  • Kaweah

    This would be a great signing by the Dodgers. How many of the Dodgers 1st round picks in the last 10 years have made it to the bigs, let alone actually contributed? Hudson is a great defender on a team that has major concerns in its pitching staff. To have gold glove caliber players at 1B, 2B & SS would be a very smart move by the Dodgers because their pitching is so thin. From an offensive perspective, Hudson is a big upgrade over DeWitt who will no doubt benefit from another year of coming off the bench. After all, a year ago this time very few of us had even heard of him and the reason for that is that he is quite inexperienced and very young. Let’s bring DeWitt along slowly so that he isn’t forced into an uncomfortable position of having to perform from the get go. He’ll get his opportunity over the course of the season and he has a long career ahead of him. Signing Hudson would be a terrific addition to the Dodgers!

  • El Lay Dave


    Incorrect. The higher the pick, the more likely they get to the majors. People are just more AWARE of the high ones that don’t pan out.

    BTW, free agent signings don’t always pan out either. Hudson is the same age as Andruw Jones 😉 . No other team has signed Hudson either – and there are plenty of crappy 2B who are #1 on their team’s depth chart. Are all 30 GMs wrong on this?

    I would gladly have surrendered the #1 draft pick for a real and hugely significant upgrade, say a top-notch starting pitcher, e.g. C.C.

    Lest people forget, recent former #1 picks include Billingsley, Kershaw, Loney, DeWitt. These picks matter; they provide future starters or future depth or future trade chips (LaRoche signed for #1 bonus money and Morris was a #1 – traded for Manny).

    Hudson played in a very good hitter’s park; his OPS+ last year was the same as Kemp and slightly better than the others, but he also didn’t play after 8/6, missing the tail end of the season when some players tire. His August and September numbers, when he’s actually played (he played 12 Sept. games combined in ’05, ’07 and ’08!), are mixed, with one super-hot August in there.

  • El Lay Dave

    Kaweah – Since Logan White was in charge:

    Morris (part of Manny trade)
    Scott Elbert (you saw last Sept.)

    Loney is the furthest back of those, drafted out of high school in 2002, and doesn’t turn 25 until May.

    Before that, Dodger drafting was pretty bad.

  • krpballer

    Theres no way they will move Blake to LF…even if we sign Hudson and don’t resign Manny. As much as some of you don’t want to hear it that will be Pierre’s job, then Blake will man 3rd with Hudson at 2nd. Dewitt will go to AAA for the year which isn’t such a bad thing in my opinion. He could use another year of grooming…he was kind of thrown into the line of fire last year.

  • krpballer

    Theres no way they will move Blake to LF…even if we sign Hudson and don’t resign Manny. As much as some of you don’t want to hear it that will be Pierre’s job, then Blake will man 3rd with Hudson at 2nd. Dewitt will go to AAA for the year which isn’t such a bad thing in my opinion. He could use another year of grooming…he was kind of thrown into the line of fire last year.

  • Marcel

    There’s no point in bringing up the last 10 years of draft picks when the current regime has only been around since 2002.

    In the years when Logan White had a TRUE first round pick (2002-04, 2006-08), he has a higher success rate than almost any team out there (Loney, Bills & Kershaw all qualify as highly talented, important pieces going forward). It’s too early to call on Elbert, Withrow and Martin, but they are still top 10 prospects.

    17th pick > Orlando Hudson

  • Marcel

    El Lay, you forgot about Billingsley (our ace) in 2003’s first round.

  • So the Dodgers talking about the youth movement was just rhetoric in case they didn’t want to spend payroll?


  • El Lay Dave

    Marcel – Yeah, I got Billingsley in the post before the list, but skipped over him accidentally in making the list. Make the list all the more impressive.

    kensai – when I’m feeling hopeful, I think confirming Hudson conversation is just Ned rattling his saber for Boras to hear, i.e., “hey Scott, I AM considering alternatives”.

  • Brooklyn Dodger

    I have mixed feelings about this one.

    I like Hudson (if healthy), and he could team with Furcal to give the Dodgers a productive 1-2 punch (both switch hitters) at the top of the order. Hudson also has a solid reputation as being a superior clubhouse presence. But I also don’t like losing the #17 overall pick in this years draft. But if they were so inclined, the Dodgers could use the money saved on not signing that draft pick to add international talent this summer.

    DeWitt I believe could serve a valuable role in spelling both Casey Blake and Hudson, and would be a nice lefthanded bat off the bench. Come mid-season when the Dodgers need to add a piece or two, who’s to say the Dodgers couldn’t include Blake or Hudson in a deal. Should Hudson have a good year, he could conceivably not re-sign with the Dodgers and become a Type-A free agent again next year, yielding the Dodgers two draft picks.

    Whatever they do, the Dodgers need to sign Manny.

  • Marcel

    You’d be pretty stupid not to fear a guy with 200+ strikeouts in one season.

    Oh, and Kershaw will be #2 this year, not Kuroda. A lefty who throws 95 MPH with ease and mixes in a deadly curve = Minotaur. That, right there, is fear-inspiring.

  • rjthrelkeld

    yeah, but last year the fear only lasted five innings.

  • El Lay Dave

    Billingsley averaged 6.14 innings per start last year, only .07 of an inning (what’s that? about 1/5 of an out?) less than Lowe’s 6.21.