11:30 p.m.: The Twins have announced the deal as official Thursday night, according to the Associated Press.
The Twins and Orlando Hudson are close to finalizing a one-year, $5 million contract, sources told FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal.
The deal will make Hudson the Twins’ everyday second baseman and probable No. 2 hitter. Nick Punto could move back to third, potentially in a platoon with the right-handed-hitting Brendan Harris.
Hudson picked the Twins over the Nationals and Indians. With Felipe Lopez and Adam Kennedy still on the market, the teams looking for second basemen do have alternatives. Lopez to Cleveland would make a lot of sense now, though there have been rumors that he’d return to St. Louis.
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts met the media in Mesa, Arizona today and said a couple of things that were fun.
First, he addressed the controversy that arose earlier this month when emails of his father’s — family patriarch Joe Ricketts — were leaked, showing him forwarding and approvingly commenting on racist jokes. Ricketts apologized for those serving as a “distraction” for the Cubs which, OK. He also said “Those aren’t the values our family was raised with… I never heard my father say anything remotely racist.” If you choose to believe that a 77-year-old conservative guy who loves racist emails — who once spearheaded an anti-Obama ad campaign that required a “literate African-American” as its spokesman — hasn’t said racist stuff a-plenty, that’s between you and your credulity.
More relevant to the 2019 Cubs is this:
The Cubs aren’t in the same position as some other contenders in that (a) they don’t have a cheap payroll; and (b) are not obvious candidates for the big free agents like Harper or Machado, but I still find that comment pretty rich for an owner of one of baseball’s marquee franchises in a non-salary cap league. If nothing else, it’s an admission by Ricketts that he, like the other owners, consider the Luxury Tax to be a defacto salary cap.