Scott Miller of CBSSports.com reports that the Padres are prepared to release second baseman Orlando Hudson if he doesn’t turn things around soon.
Hudson, 34, is batting .156/.191/.200 over his first 46 plate appearances this season. He seems to be losing his job to utility infielder Andy Parrino, who started last night against the Phillies and two out of the three games against the Rockies earlier this week.
Miller speculates that a possible release could coincide with the pending return of Logan Forsythe, who is scheduled to head to extended spring training this weekend after undergoing surgery in March to have the sesamoid bone removed from his left foot.
Releasing Hudson would be a major statement for the thrifty Padres, who have the lowest payroll in the majors at $55.6 million. Hudson is owed $5.5 million this year and a $2 million buyout on his $8 million option for next season. Still, he signed his two-year, $11.5 million deal under former GM Jed Hoyer and has batted just .237/.316/.336 with a .652 OPS over 131 games with San Diego.
The Padres lost their fourth straight game last night and now sit at a major-league worst 3-12 on the young season, so with Hudson on the steady decline and his trade value nil, it might be worth it to bite the bullet while seeing what younger players like Parrino and Forsythe can do.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.