It seems like just yesterday I was writing about how odd it was that Orlando Hudson had five triples and zero doubles this season. And now he’s out of a job.
San Diego released the veteran second baseman after Hudson hit just .211 with a .260 on-base percentage and .317 slugging percentage in 35 games despite those league-leading five triples.
He wasn’t a whole lot better last season, hitting .246 with seven homers and a .681 OPS in 119 games to snap a streak of nine straight seasons with an OPS above .700.
At age 34 he may simply be washed up and there was almost zero chance of Hudson being claimed off waivers thanks to his $5.5 million salary this season and $8 million team option or $2 million buyout for 2013. However, now that the Padres have released Hudson and eaten his contract it wouldn’t be shocking to see a contender (the veteran-loving Giants, perhaps?) snatch him up on the cheap.
Hudson repeatedly had trouble securing multi-year deals as a free agent until the Padres surprisingly handed him a two-year, $11.5 million contract in December of 2010, and he ended up giving them 154 games of a .657 OPS for the investment.
UPDATE: San Diego will have a completely new double-play duo, as the Padres also placed struggling shortstop Jason Bartlett on the disabled list with a strained knee. Everth Cabrera, who was stuck in the minors after being arrested this spring, and Alexi Amarista, who was acquired from the Angels for Ernesto Frieri recently, were called up from Triple-A and figure to see most of the middle infield action.
Orioles third baseman Manny Machado will become a free agent after the 2018 season and there hasn’t been much in the way of progress on a contract extension between the two sides. It seems as if Machado will test the open market next offseason.
The Phillies, currently with relatively minuscule obligations for the 2018 season and beyond, are expected to be big players for Machado, as well as other potential free agents like Bryce Harper. In fact, the Phillies may not even want to wait until next offseason, as Roch Kubatko of MASN reports that the club has expressed interest in Machado to the Orioles. In return, the O’s have been doing their homework on the Phillies’ minor league system.
Kubatko notes that the Orioles like, in particular, Phillies prospects Sixto Sanchez and Scott Kingery. The Phillies may be hesitant to part with either considering they can get Machado for a lot of cash but no prospects next winter. MLB Pipeline rates Sanchez as the Phillies’ best pitching prospect and the second-best prospect overall in the system. Kingery is third overall and the top infielder. While the Phillies’ system is among the best in baseball, its notable weakness is pitching, so parting with Sanchez — who throws in the upper 90’s and can hit triple digits — would be a big ask. Kingery is seen as the club’s next second baseman of the future, so much so that the Phillies are shopping Cesar Hernandez at the Winter Meetings.
As usual with rumors during the Winter Meetings, there may be some smoke but no actual fire here. The Orioles are likely to get continued interest in Machado from many teams between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. They are simply doing their due diligence by seeing what the Phillies and others have to offer for Machado.