Twins 'have intensified their pursuit of' Hudson

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Earlier this week I wondered why the Twins weren’t making a stronger push for Orlando Hudson, so it pleases me to see this report from Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi at FOXSports.com:

The Twins have intensified their pursuit of free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, one major league source told FOXSports.com on Thursday morning. … Hudson is asking for at least $6 million on a one-year deal, a separate source said. He is likely to agree to terms on a new contract this week.

Based on various reports recently it sounds like the Nationals are offering Hudson the most money, but he’d prefer to play for a better team if the salaries are somewhat close.
If all it takes to land Hudson is a one-year deal worth around $5 million the decision should be a no-brainer for the Twins, because right now they have Nick Punto starting at second base, Brendan Harris starting at third base, and no clear option to bat second in the lineup ahead of Joe Mauer. At that price and this late in the offseason Hudson is as close to a perfect fit as Minnesota is going to find.
UPDATE: MLB.com’s Bill Ladson just tweeted that “a baseball source” told him Hudson “will not play for the Nationals” and “most likely will play for the Twins.”
UPDATE #2: Not so fast, perhaps. Now both Buster Olney of ESPN.com and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune report that Hudson is deciding between the Twins and … Indians. Everyone seems to agree that the Nationals are out of the mix.

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.