The free agent market has been notoriously slow, but at least one player seems to be in high demand. Orlando Hudson informed the MLB Network Monday that no fewer than four teams are interested in him: the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers and Nationals.
Considering he's a Type A free agent who was offered arbitration, any team that signs him will owe the Diamondbacks a draft pick as compensation, which makes the cost of acquiring him a bit higher than his salary alone. But still, he's a three-time Gold Glove winner and one-time All-Star, and despite turning 31 years old in December, he's still in his prime.
Hudson has been at his best the last three seasons, posting a 102 OPS+ in 2006, 106 in 2007 and 109 in 2008. He only played in 107 games last year after going down in August with a dislocated left wrist, but that was a fluke injury and something most teams likely aren't concerned about this winter.
Interestingly enough, Hudson hasn't been asked by any of the teams pursuing him if he'd be willing to change positions, which makes you wonder what the Yankees, Mets and Dodgers have in mind. Robinson Cano and Luis Castillo are both coming off extraordinarily underwhelming seasons, both at the plate and in the field, and the arrival of Hudson to one of the New York teams could be the precursor to a trade.
Blake DeWitt is taking over for Jeff Kent in Los Angeles, but he was much more comfortable at third base than second last year, posting a -17.3 UZR/150 in 27 games at second base. ESPN's Buster Olney confirms the Dodgers' interest in Hudson, adding that they're also pursuing another former D'back, Adam Dunn.
It seems the Dodgers had budgeted roughly $30 million to re-sign Manny Ramirez while adding another pitcher, and after Ramirez rejected their most recent offer, the team is now thinking about spreading it around to sign several free agents. Given the market and the bargains that can be had, a team with money to spend could really clean up with that strategy.
Coincidentally, the Nationals are interested in Dunn, as well. Dunn is obviously lukewarm on the prospect of playing for the Nats (there's a reason he hasn't signed), but you have to figure he'd be a little more receptive to the idea were Hudson to commit as well. That said, whether the Nationals can afford to sign both players remains to be seen.
Orlando Hudson Is a Wanted Man originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 03 Feb 2009 19:55:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.