Nats Not Interested in O-Dog

Nats won't upgrade at second

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With Adam Dunn's deal done, optimism is fluttering through the hearts of Nats fans.  With just another piece or three, they could be a surprise contender.  Well, one of those pieces isn't happening.  The Nats are saying that they're not interested in upgrading at second base with Orlando Hudson.

O-Dog's a pretty valuable player.  A three-time Gold Glove winner, he's pretty good defensively, even if age and injury have knocked him back a step.  He's an above-average bat at second, making him a pretty valuable player overall.

He'd be an especially nice upgrade for the Nats compared to the in-house contenders. 

Ronnie Belliard's a decent bench guy, but with an ever-expanding waist size, his range at second is poor.

Anderson Hernandez won a lot of fans with his .333 batting average last season, but that's a fluke.  Are the 81 ABs of .333 batting he had last season or the 3,509 ABs of .264 batting he had in the minors a better predictor of what he'll do?  He doesn't walk or slug enough to be useful if he hits .264.

They're also considering Alberto Gonzalez.  He had 49 fluky ABs that belies a tortuous minor-league track record.

Hudson would be a big upgrade over any of those guys.

The downside to signing him is that they'd have to give up a draft pick -- in this case, a second rounder.

But with two first-round picks requiring a strong financial commitment, losing a second rounder wouldn't be the worst thing, especially if they drafted aggressively later for players who fell because of their bonus demands.

Plus, there's always a possibility that they could flip him at the deadline for prospects, or get some picks back next season if they let him walk.

Signing him would clearly be a short-term move, but it wouldn't necessarily hurt their long-term goals either.  It'd make a lot of sense, even if Jim Bowden apparently doesn't see it the same way.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment, where he botched many easy double-play grounders.

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