Who's slower: Orlando Hudson, or the Dodgers' front office?

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The Twins and their fans are understandably giddy over the Orlando Hudson signing, but Joel Sherman of the New York Post is throwing a bit of cold water on the O-Dog today:

No doubt Hudson is a better player than Castillo and, thus, would have
helped the Mets more. But Dodgers officials were actually disappointed
in Hudson’s overall game and, remember, Joe Torre benched Hudson in favor of Ronnie Belliard late in the year. They were quickly surprised that Hudson was not
faster with a few inside the organization derisively turning his
nickname from O-Dog to Slow-Dog.

Keith Law, who worked in the Blue Jays front office when Hudson was there, thinks that to the extent Hudson’s lack of speed surprised the Dodgers, it was a failure of their own scouting, not any falloff from Hudson:

I saw Hudson a lot when we
were both in Toronto, and he was never a plus runner . . .  And from talking to
people with Arizona, I know they noticed the same phenomenon when
Hudson played there. Unfortunately, I think the cause here is that
Hudson looks the part of a speedy, low-power middle infielder, and
scouts and coaches are making assumptions that just don’t bear out in
reality. He’s not fast, he’s never been fast, and anyone who files a
report on him with a grade of 50 (average) or better for his running
speed has made a bad evaluation.

So there you have it anonymous, name-calling Dodgers officials: Orlando Hudson is rubber and you’re glue and what you say about the O-Dog bounces off him and sticks to you.

Robinson Cano hit his 300th home run last night

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Last night Robinson Cano hit a solo homer in the ninth inning of the Mariners’ loss to the Texas Rangers. It was his 22nd on the season. Though it was insignificant to the outcome of that game, it was significant to Cano: it was his 300th career homer.

While we’ve become accustomed to not caring much about home run milestones south of, say, 500, 300 homers for Cano is a big deal, as he’s only the third second baseman to cross that threshold in baseball history. The other two: Jeff Kent, at 377, and Rogers Hornsby at 301.

Cano, who turns 35 next month, has a career line of .305/.354/.495 and 1,179 RBI, 512 doubles and 33 triples to go with those bombs. He’s in his 13th big league season and still has six more years left on his deal with the Mariners. He’s averaged 24 homers a year since coming to the Mariners. While he’ll obviously trail off at some point — and while great second baseman’s have this weird habit of just suddenly falling off a cliff — it’s highly likely that he’ll finish his career as the all-time home run leader among second baseman. If he remains healthy he should also get over 3,000 hits in his career.

Cooperstown, here he comes.

Reds sign catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year deal

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Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that the Reds have signed catcher Tucker Barnhart to a four-year contract extension. The terms: $16 million total, with a $7.5 million club option for the 2022 season that has a $500,000 buyout. He also received a $1.75 million signing bonus.

The deal buys out all three of his arbitration years — he was going to be eligible for the first time this offseason — and the first year of his potential free agency. The club option buys a second. Barnhart made $575,000 this season.

Barnhart, 26, is finishing his second season as the Reds primary catcher. This year he’s hitting .272/.349/.399 with six homers and 42 RBI in 113 games. For his career he has a line of .257/.328/.366 in 330 major league games. His real value is defensive, however. He leads the National League in caught stealing percentage and number of base stealers caught (31-for-70, 44%) and leads all players at any position in the league in defensive WAR according to Baseball-Reference.com.