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Hudson won't be heading to DC

[UPDATE] -- The latest from Buster Olney suggests that Hudson is closing in on a deal with the Twins -- one year, $5 million.

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The Washington Nationals had hoped to cap their offseason -- and further reduce their list of needs -- with the acquisition of free agent Orlando Hudson. But the Nationals, according to published reports, have dropped from the running for the second baseman, unwilling to match his salary wishes. That leaves Hudson to pick between either the Minnesota Twins or Cleveland Indians, and it leaves the Nationals to find a Plan B for their middle infield.

Washington has yet to confirm that negotiations with Hudson are officially over, but one team source was willing to at least paint a pessimistic picture. "Obviously there's some difference in money," the source said.

As it currently stands, the Nationals will rely on Cristian Guzman and Ian Desmond as their starting double play combination. But General Manager Mike Rizzo has said all winter that he would like to add a major league veteran, preferably one known for his defense, to that group. The Nationals are known to have interest in free agent Adam Kennedy. They might also pursue a trade.

The Nationals had long pursued Hudson as their top choice at second base, and are believed to have offered an annual salary topping $3 million, heavy on incentives. In 2009 with Los Angeles, Hudson earned a base salary of $3.38 million. He also accumulated more than $4 million in performance bonuses.

In recent days, several players had lobbied for Hudson, and close friend Adam Dunn even suggested that Hudson wanted to play in Washington.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 4, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
 
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Next: Nationals sign free agent 2B Adam Kennedy

Comments

I'm okay with this. All the team can do is try and try within a reasonable contract structure.

Regardless of what you think of the Lerner's (cheap, not cheap), there are few teams that can carry bad contracts. I'm sure that it was Kearns-Guzman-Young's combined $21 million in salary that kept the team from making other moves over the past couple of seasons.

I trust Rizzo. Maybe Adam Kennedy is the answer, perhaps it is Ian Desmond.

The Nationals wouldn't have much better because of Hudson. He would have been nice to be sure, but it's not like trying to sign an Adam Dunn type of player.

Posted by: rushfari | February 4, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Funny, I remember Stan and GM Rizzo telling us the offseason wasn't over after they signed Capps... not a chance that they weren't telling the truth is there?

Posted by: S2DU | February 4, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hudson would have been good for the lineup, good for the D, good for the clubhouse. It seems we had a budget for our second baseman and that O-Dog's agent has managed to get the Twins and Indians to throw out a number that exceeds it. Disappointing as usual. However, Kennedy would be fine too. Guzman and Dunn on the right side together would not be fine, however. Sign Kennedy and then let Desmond try to beat out him or Guz for the starting job at some point.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that we're getting reports that the Nats are not going to sign Hudson for what he's asking, but apparently no reports of another team actually signing him. Could this just be Rizzo calling Orlando's bluff?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

From today's chat over on MLBtraderumors:

Q: Turn the tables: who's got the WORST starting rotation right now?

A: Nationals and Indians look the most questionable.

Yup.

Posted by: BobLHead | February 4, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you missed the Mench signing?

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Funny, I remember Stan and GM Rizzo telling us the offseason wasn't over after they signed Capps... not a chance that they weren't telling the truth is there?

Posted by: JohninMpls | February 4, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Welcome to DC Adam, adios Orlando, be sure to bring your snowshovel to Target field, ya might need it bro.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 4, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I've been a big proponent of getting Hudson under contract with the Nationals for a while - I wonder what the final numbers will look like when the dust settles?

If Hudson doesn't sign here, then maybe take another look at Kennedy, who has a little versatility (2B-3B), but kinda looks like 'Dan Uggla-lite' overall.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance to bad rubbish. Sign Kennedy and move on.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 4, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Pitching still has to be the primary focus ... so ... they should have paid the extra freight for Chapman ... He is a risk but so was Hudson given last year. But the Chapman risk could lead to Nirvana whereas the O-dog risk would not?

Makes me more inclined toward the Lernersarecheap train of thought.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I hope that there is some quantitative measure to the failure to sign Hudson. Did they use their stats and scout guys to come to some estimate of how many wins he might be worth, and put a price to it? On the other hand, did Hudson tell the Nats that he would only sign for him at full price, but would take less for a possible contender?

Either way, I am disappointed. I also am a bit peeved that in the final analysis, the Nationals' payroll is even less than it was last year. I understand that the team failed to sign certain people because they wouldn't take the highest offer, but it is unacceptable to put a last-place team on the field when there was money left over to improve it.

The team should have INCREASED the payroll, not decreased it. I am not calling the Lerners cheap here, but making my first small cut at Rizzo for not getting the job done with the funds that were already available. He can still look to make a trade to get a star who is overpaid on another team. The Nats don't have to assume the full brunt of someone's mistake, but I remember that Stan Kasten said that long contracts like Soriano's at inflated prices could lead to opportunities for the Nationals later. Take advantage, then- there are teams that need salary relief who could take a disadvantageous trade to allow more opportunities later.

No, I don't know one off-hand, but having followed this thought through this note, I will try to explore it, and ask help from the Constituency in figuring out possibilities.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | February 4, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

So what was the sticking point? Was it that Hudson wanted more guaranteed money instead of the incentives?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | February 4, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

They feared inking Chapman at too much money, yet they are largely thought to have over-paid for Pudge. They love Huddson but can't land him, though he is rumored to have wanted to come if the coins were right? Rizzo seems to think that an Ace is a luxury that the club cannot yet afford. What is the strategy these guys are trying to pull off??

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Knowing no details (and even knowing this is not settled yet), I would almost guarantee that not signing Hudson did NOT result from a restriction based on a Lerner demand. Other commenters are exactly right that a bad contract is a bad contract, and even if Hudson makes you a win or two better than a Kennedy or other, it's not worth a $3 million premium ($5m vs $2m). If we fail to do anything to upgrade the middle infield, it's on the FO, especially Rizzo--they have specifically said they need to improve the MLB roster at those positions, and haven't yet. But those who are wailing that we're going to start the season with the same MI as last year, or that the Lerners have pulled the purse strings, or that Rizzo is Bowden II need to cool out and wait a few weeks.

Posted by: natinbeantown | February 4, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

clarifying: my rant is not directed at 1/2St's thoughtful post, but at some of the gnashing of teeth that has gone on around here today. I share his hope that there's a thoughtful approach to the Hudson decision, and not just a negotiating swingandamiss.

Posted by: natinbeantown | February 4, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

They keep coming up short on players they proclaim to want and to smaller market clubs. He's done a nice job filling holes to keep the club from being awful, but he has not yet gotten it done on the heavy lifting.

They needed an Ace, we got no Ace. Maybe Wang is in the careds, who knows. But he is a big risk, not a cornerstone piece. They wanted/needed a 2B, we've got some decent yet unspectacular choices left but not the target guy. They needed to add pieces for beyond 2010 -- only the additions of Bruney and Capps, neither guy a lock to be asked back, Pudge (39!) and Marquis fit that bill.

When they sit down again with Dunn to get passed "level zero" in talks on an extension, Dunn is going to tell them to wait until after the season when he'll have posted another 40 HR, 100 RBI season and half the legaue will want him at comparable money to whatever the nats might pay.

Why would the guy ever even seriously consider staying? He may not want to be on an ever-building last place team and he may actually want to make the playoffs before he retires. The money will be elsewhere and from a far better organization.

If they really want Dunn, they are going to have to wow the guy. Wowing guys is not the strong suit of Nats baseball management, I hope they have it in them.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

If they had inked Chapman that might have been enough to "WOW"a lot of guys out there including Dunn. Players could see a not-too-distant future when Nats pitching could dominate the National League. The Lerners need to do better methinks. Not sure if you can hang this one on Rizzo ...

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, they will find another Chapman-like lefty to draft in this year's draft. You can't pin your hopes and the franchise on Zimmermann coming back.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:08 PM | Report abuse

C'mon dfh21, how many MLB teams wouldn't like to sign an ace? And, outside of Lackey (who clearly wasn't coming here) anyone in this crop fit your description? Did you think we could get Lee or Halladay? Gnash your teeth all you want about not signing Hudson - and if we sign Kennedy realistically how big a drop is that - but unless you are willing to gut our minors to get proven players the process will be slow. And we've all seen just how well things work when you gut your minors...

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 4, 2010 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Not sure who to hang what on, but Rizzo missed the makret on Chapman badly. He loved the kid and he thought he had the best offer, only to be bested by $5M. The Reds stole that kid for $30M over 10 years. Even if Chapman turns out to be a bust, that kind of payout does nothing to hurt the club and if he turns out to be something special, then what a deal! Rizzo claims that he set an amount at which he would not go over and the Leners supported him. So, not sure we can blame the Lerners for Chapman.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 7:12 PM | Report abuse

dfh-
I don't recall a single instance of the FO or the team saying "we need an ace". Obviously, we do, but they've consistently said (for years) that ace pitchers will not come from free agency or trade, but through drafting and development. Maybe SS is one, or maybe JZ, or maybe the #1 pick this year. But to blame the front office from failing to follow up on a goal you set for them that they've never stated is a reach.

They did say they wanted to rebuild the bullpen add some pitching experience and depth and upgrade the middle infield. The first is done, the second is half done. I'm giving them til opening day to fill the need at middle infield before griping.

Posted by: natinbeantown | February 4, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

natinbeabtown-

No offense taken, even remotely. Once the fan base gets as big as it needs to be eventually, these fora will be so much more rough-and-tumble. I was actually surprised with myself to be getting on Rizzo. The off-season isn't over, but I really can't what is left to choose from other than trades.

Maybe Hudson isn't worth several million dollars more than Kennedy by any logical measure. I sure hope they are good at marketing Adam Kennedy, because he is going to feel pretty crappy at being the default replacement, and we don't feel much better.

+1/2St.

Posted by: kevincostello | February 4, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

SCNAts: Is the only way to land an Ace via FA? Millwood, Vazquez, Lee all moved. Wolf would have been closer to an Ace than anything we have, as would certainly Sheets or Harden also be.

Anyway, I am not snarling bad that the Nats did not get Hudson, but there is a trned here. Want a guy, miss the guy. And Rizzo has not shown much in terms of creativity and those holes remain. Time will tell and all, but he's not wowing me, as if any one cares.

At a 23rd ranked farm, the minors are failry gutless as they currently stand.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure Rizzo was thinking Seaver and Koosman in Strasburg and Chapman. He can certainly say that he set a limit ... but he did not have add that the Lerner's supported him? Now did he? It sure sounds a little like the Lerner's were involved every step of the way in the negotiations. I think if you have a lefty with a 100mph fastball to go with a righty with a 100mph fastball ... and you are dead last in both leagues? You jump that shark and go for it.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

We don't know what the politics are like on the inside of the Nats organization. After the Strasburg signing there may have been a bit of honeymoon period. And Rizzo got his underlings. But in the end the Lerner's and there frugal business philosophies may have returned to assert themselves ... its ebb and flow ... but, yes, it is something Mike Rizzo must learn to manage.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

The FO didn't say it ... but they must know that they do need an ace, more than one. Just Strasburg will not be enough if and when he pans out. Think of Seaver, Koosman, Gentry and a young Nolan Ryan coming out of the pen. Strasburg, Chapman, Lannan, and Drew Storen coming out of the pen. That must have been part of what was running through Rizzo's mind. The problem is that the Lerners aren't really baseball nuts ... :)

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Espn reports twins will give Hudson one year deal for $5m -- so much for the spec that the nats made the highest offer.

Cheap!

Posted by: swanni | February 4, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

They still need top pitching ... not O-dog. Some Beliard-like type from their farms will likely steal O-dog's job before midseason anyway.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

All of you who are screaming that they should have signed Chapman: You do realize that at this point he's nothing but a project, unlikely to pitch at the major league level at all this season, don't you? He does nothing for the 2010 Nats except add payroll.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 4, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Again, if only I could figure out what the scheme was. Short arms and deep pockets when it comes to long term moves. Big spenders on 38 year old part time catchers. Adding more guys over 35 than under 30. Losing out to KC, Cincy and Minn for FA talent they claim to really want. What are they thinking?

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Still the worst defense in the NL East, still dreaming that Zimmermann can recover and give them 200 innings, and still a team looking to upgrade on the cheap.

Too bad we don't play in the AL Central. Maybe then Mr. StanK wouldn't look like a perennial gasbag.

Posted by: howjensen | February 4, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

NationalsPride is reporting that Hudson's asking price of the Nats was twice what he was willing to sign for with the Twins. If that's true, they never had a chance.

Posted by: slopitchtom1 | February 4, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

That would explain reports that he was so eager to sign here. Paying me double what anyone else will would turn my head, too.
******************
NationalsPride is reporting that Hudson's asking price of the Nats was twice what he was willing to sign for with the Twins. If that's true, they never had a chance.

Posted by: slopitchtom1 | February 4, 2010 7:49 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 4, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Do you think it's sort of the opposite effect of holding the line on a guy like Crow, so that next year, the agents know you're not a pushover?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 4, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

nunof1: Rizzo himself proclaimed that he liked Chapman as much as any lefty he had ever seen. The much vaunted Nats FO geniuses were all in agreement: kid is a stud. Nats wanted him yet they did not get close.

Nothing but a project unlikely to pitch at MLB level this year? Are you talking about Strasburg or Chapman? I guess that money on Stras was a waste then by your logic?

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Things were so pleasant and friendly here yesterday. I understand Zuckerman is taking complaints over at the other blog.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

The more I think about this Hudson deal,the more it stinks. And the more the Lerners and Rizzo stink.

They were the ones that threw this guys name out there and made a big deal about targeting him. When in fact they were never serious about a real offer. If in fact they were going to pay 4 mill including incentives and Hudson in fact signed for 5 mill, then to lose this target over 1 mill when they haven't spent that much bread to begin with is completely ridiculous.

Rizzo's claim of all he did in the offseason is a bunch of malarkey. I got a veteran catcher. Are you kidding me? He signed an over the hill broken down backstop that no one else wanted. I signed a veteran pitcher.
Well whoopdeedoo. You're a major league team last I looked. Don't you think you should have a veteran pitcher? Mayber even 2 or 3.
This is complege B. S. The Nats have basically done nothing and patted themselves on the back for it and then had this happen. This really stinks.
This is CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP B S continued from the LERENERS AND RIZZO.
Welcome to the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Posted by: dovelevine | February 4, 2010 8:17 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Reading one of the laments up above that the Nats did not go top contract for Chapman, according to a number of published accounts, the Nationals thought they were high bidder for Chapman. All indications leading up to the signing were that $25M would be enough. The Reds bid $30M and Chapman took it without giving the Nats a chance to counter. (I'm not saying they should have countered, just that they never got the opportunity). In any event, I'm not sure the failure to offer Chapman more than $25M should be on the list of reasons why you think the Nationals are cheap.

As for the refusal to bid higher on Hudson, I wish that they had, but I don't think this story is over. Payroll and/or talent level might still go up via trade before opening day.

I just can't get my heat up over not signing Hudson. He would have been an upgrade in the field and at bat, but I still get the feeling he just did not want to sign here. I know his mouth said yes, yes, yes, but his actions said no, no, no.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Seriously this is typical Nats--a day late and a dollar short. The Lerners are baseball LOSERS and Rizzo is the same old loser mouthpiece. This is really disgraceful. And this offseason has been disgraceful...Capps, Bruney, Pudge......REALLY?? These are the difference makers??
Freakin Joke!!

Posted by: dovelevine | February 4, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

I am not complaining that they missed the boat on Hudson. I am not even complaining that they missed Chapman. But I am concerned that they keep missing get-able guys and the clubs beating them to the punch are small market clubs, not the Sox and Yanks.

Minn likely got Hudson because they offered guaranteed money to the tune of about $1.5M higher than the Nats offered with similar incentives. Nats in it to the end yet again.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

On the signing of IRod.

Clearly the Nats management were not happy with how the catchers handled the pitchers and ran games last year. They let Bard go but kept Nieves. Their starting catcher spent most of last year 90 day injury lists. And he was still pretty new at it. They have a couple of young catchers in the minors who probably need some mentoring including Norris.

They have all these young pitchers, they need a catcher that was willing to come in and be a cat herder I guess. So, IRod makes sense for a number of reasons and so seems a far more valuable acquisition than an O-dog.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Also when comparing payroll between teams don't forget to figure in the fact that the Nationals were number one in spending on the 2009 Draft. If you add 2009 draft to 2010 payroll, I would expect the Nationals would be closer to middle of the pack.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

natsbis: The 2010 payroll is looking to be about 27th again (give or take a spot),so the rest of the pack would have to have spent Zero Dollars on their 2009 drafts in order for the Nats to hit the middle on spending if you added it up that way.

And 2009 is the anomoly in terms of spending, in 2008 they did not ink Crow so there was some money theoretically around.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

@natbiscuits: I'm hearing you regarding Hudson. The team flirted with him in '09 before he signed with the Dodgers; This year, it seemed like a real pro-mance (with friends on the inside, pulling to make it happen), only to be dumped AGAIN at the last minute for another suitor. Some things just aren't meant to be; The team (and those of us in the fan-base) just need to move along.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

The draft is where to put the money ... clearly! For this team. Chapman falls in that category. But I guess the explanation/excuse is that the agents for Chapman didn't give the Nats the option to counter.

They need to do better.

Posted by: periculum | February 4, 2010 8:51 PM | Report abuse

McCain was in it until the end with Obama too.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | February 4, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Penny wise and pound foolish - the Nats' motto. Well at least the Lerners will make a bigger profit with a lower payroll this year.

Posted by: CountDemoney | February 4, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

@natsbiscuits - "add 2009 draft to 2010 payroll, I would expect the Nationals would be closer to middle of the pack." That argument is one of the more flimsy, fallacious, and ridiculous assertions yet in justifying the monetary expenditures by ownership. Nobody in baseball adds payroll and draft expenditures together when talking about the Major League Payroll. Yes, it is a factor in Total Budget, but no one here is talking Total Budget. They are talking payroll and saying the talent on the ML roster is not there but theoretically there is extra money in the payroll. And they are asking the question, 'Why aren't you spending that delta amount between expenditures and payroll ceiling (~$20M) on the team since the talent is available to upgrade the team on the free agent market?' It's a fair and reasonable question, even to those who are not on the "Lerner's are cheap" bandwagon.

Posted by: lpatashn | February 4, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

I can't be too disappointed. The Nats offered O-Dog what they thought he is worth vis-a-vis their salary structure and he had the right to take his services elsewhere. This isn't another example of the perceived "cheapness" of the franchise that some NJers love to beat to death. In a free-market system, Hudson has the right to take what he believes to be the best offer. How did we miss playing the Twins this year out of all of the AL Central teams?

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 4, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21 (and others): Just some $$ numbers for consideration...
- Washington Nationals Salary value (25-man, 2009 final) =$60.3M (per Cot's website).
- Washington Nationals Salary commitment (25-man, 2010 to-date) =$57.3M, with only 12 of 27* players 'locked-down' for 2010, two arbitration cases outstanding, and a number of others unsigned. *Includes Strasburg (& pro-rated bonus due), and JZimm (on DL).
- Washington Nationals 40-man roster salary outlay to-date = $67.68M (19 of 40 players under contract, 2 Arbitration cases, 19 contract offers still unsigned or unreported).

Draw your own conclusions, but at least have some reasonable numbers in hand first.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

um, no its not. and you're just rude. thfffptt!

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 9:37 PM | Report abuse

stay classy!

Posted by: lpatashn | February 4, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Rizzo had better have a good Plan B in mind and I'm not certain that Adam Kennedy qualifies. Six year STH and this one really gets to me. 103 losses and you don't move the payroll up? After all the talk about improving infield defense, Desmond and Guzman don't do it for me.

Posted by: dlombardo1 | February 4, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm fine with this if we get Kennedy instead as a stopgap measure. All you really need to know about Hudson is that his defense dropped sharply and Joe Torre preferred Ronnie Belliard over him down the stretch. Hudson is not the same player he was at this time last year. Yes, Kennedy is two years older, but at least unlike Hudson his key stats are not yet in decline.

I'd rather spend the money in 2011 when we have a shot at contending...although perhaps I'm being too optimistic about the Lerners.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | February 4, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

We all assume that the Hudson deal is done, but the proof is when it's posted to mlb.com\transactions. If the Nationals counter by inking Kennedy, sobeit; Otherwise, they either 1) throw Desmond, AGonz, Guzman, Bruntlett, Orr, & P.Lopez into the mosh-pit & see who wins the three MI positions, or 2) make a trade for a steady-gloved 2B or SS.

I'm thinking it will be Kennedy / Guzman manning the MI, with either Bruntlett or AGonz on the bench, and Desmond in SYR, working on defense.

Posted by: BinM | February 4, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Remember something about the free agent market: the winner of a free agent services is typically the team that values the player more than everyone else. If that team is not better at valuing players, then that is the team burned. In this case, it was always assumed that Hudson would go to a contender for less money than he would have wanted from the Nats in order to get his services. IOW, we not only would have had to value him more than other teams, but we would have had to do it by a lot to get his services. Rizzo was not going to be used to reach for Hudson for the extra X million in guaranteed cash that no one else would pay. These players who ask for Nats premiums can pound sand as far as I'm concerned. What Kurkjian reported as the Nats offer was $3m with ~$4m in incentives. That had the chance to be a bigger payout than the Twins are reported to have on the table. I do not blame the Nats for not offering the $7 - $9m guaranteed Hudson would have wanted.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | February 4, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

BinM: I appreciate the rundown on the salary numbers for 2009 and 2010, but what is the point? I did not draw any conclusions regarding total payroll, well not today at least. The Nats spent 27th last year and they are on target to spend about the same amount this year give or take a Million, no? Is 27 Ted's lucky number? From 2006-08 the Nats averaged, you guessed it, 27th in payroll.

Back to back 100 loss seasons, in a shiny new publicy financed ball park in a top 10 market by any measure and looking to be in the bottom 5 in payroll, again.

Actually, from 2006 (when they had Davey Johnson under hire the first time) to 2007 the Lerners cut payroll more than $25M and this year they might get it back to that 2006 threshold again. So, I guess that I should feel better about their willingness to spend some of my higher than league average cost season ticket money.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

It seems to be a done deal now. MLBTR passes on the news that Twins are preparing the announcement.

I had not realized that Desmond had OBP of .428 and .372 respectively at Syracuse and Harrisburg last year (it was just .318 in 21 games in DC). Projections are filled with all kinds of assumptions, but Bill James forecasts with .282/.338/.432 with 25 steals. If Desmond can do something close to that with league average fielding, then Hudson just did us a favor by signing with the Twins.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

I think the Kennedy plan is a good one. Solid, and not error prone. We would have to have gone to 6 million to get Hudson. That seem like a lot for declining range, no walks and a bad risk.

Posted by: soundbloke | February 4, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Desmond could turn out to be special. But he has work to do. Those killer OBP numbers are over only 300 AB's total and in the bigs he K'd 14 times in 82 AB's with 5 walks. In 2008 at Harrisburg his OBP was .318 over about the same number of AB's. But he does hit with pop and he can run like Hell, so maybe the kid puts it together and plays a slick 2B to boot! Here's to hope!!

Posted by: dfh21 | February 4, 2010 11:42 PM | Report abuse

Take the friggin' money you didn't spend on O-Dog and give it to Jarrod Washburn! I can't believe nobody is interested in this guy. Apparently he plans on retiring if he doesn't get a decent offer soon. Make a run at him with a 1-year deal, then flip him at the deadline. And please, no Livo's or Adam Eaton's...

Posted by: JamWhitt | February 4, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

This will all be OK, IFF they come up with a middle infield that's better than it would have been without Hudson.

Stan argued that we do not, in fact, care what they spend, if they win. OK. I don't care who you over-pay. I don't care who else will over-pay. I don't care if you get him for a bag of balls and and Zimmerman autograph.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | February 5, 2010 12:00 AM | Report abuse

Ladson via twitter:
I just received word that the #Nats have agreed to terms with free agent 2B Adam Kennedy.

that was quick

Posted by: AshrafEl-Arini | February 5, 2010 12:13 AM | Report abuse

chico "the human scoop" harlan... i know you are asleep and that you probably wont check on nats news for another few days, but adam kennedy just signed with the nats, so if you could repost ladson's reporting in this space in the next few days, you would be fulfilling the expectations we all have come to have for you. thanks.

Posted by: formerlylove1 | February 5, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

I am guessing that Rizzo will be in it to the end with Wang.

I love folks knocking Hudson as midling, no-walking this and lack o' range that, off handedly now that he's not coming to DC (while his peers, actual MLB players of merit, praise the guy as elite). Had the club inked him, it would be multiple Gold Gloves, career .280 hitter, clubhouse guru! . . . kind of like the way it was when Pudge inked-up. All of a sudden Pudge is a grand mentor and a future Hall of Famer caliber player not a guy of cvertain limitations and advanced age.

Oh well. I hope Pduge parties likes it's 1999 all over again and Ian Desmond lands on the All Star Team. Stranger things have happened.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 5, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

OK, Ian Desmond's run as a starter just ended and so did my hopes of hime making the All Star Team. Adam Kennedy is really, I mean really a good mentor . . .

Fans are gonna love the guy, that's a lock. He's a lot like Jamey Carroll -- smart guy, under dog look to him, plays hard. Nice addition.

If only he could pitch.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 5, 2010 12:26 AM | Report abuse

At least the Cheapasses got Kennedy. Get another solid starter (Wang, Smoltz, etc.) and we may win 75.

I think lowballing Hudson was a typical Lerner/StanK move but, I believe in Rizzo so, it may work out. My concern is that they are showing a pattern of cheapness in FA and drafting for "signability." That doesn't look good at all.

Posted by: Section505203 | February 5, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

You have to expect more from Mike Rizzo, he needs to do better especially in the pitching category since that is his focus.

Posted by: periculum | February 5, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

The human scoop? Kind of like the doggy scoops they use at the beach? Have to be nicer to Chico now ...

Posted by: periculum | February 5, 2010 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Ha! I'm waiting for the argument that the Nationals DID in fact get two pitchers on the FA market, since Scott Olsen was a FA when they signed him.

Posted by: lpatashn | February 5, 2010 1:05 AM | Report abuse

So Kennedy it is!!! After taking a closer look at him, he's not half bad. I'm ok with this.

Posted by: big_game_lannan | February 5, 2010 1:49 AM | Report abuse

Well,Kennedy has played on a team that won a World Series.Hudson has not.Their numbers from last year are quite comparable,and the fact is,Hudson was benched in favor of Belliard at the end of the season.

Posted by: seanmg | February 5, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, Hudson probably has to work too hard to get his insentive bonuses. I would have liked him here, but even with him we would not make the playoffs. But who knows? We might make the playoffs without him! The Nats have a bright future, of which Hudson wouldn't have played a big part. Good luck Hudson. Hey, he may be in the playoffs this year with the Twins.

Posted by: Pete433 | February 5, 2010 6:40 AM | Report abuse

is it too early to start thinking Beckett next year?

Posted by: longterm | February 5, 2010 6:48 AM | Report abuse

I'd complain over there, but none of my post submissions have gone through yet. Well, I *have* complained about that, but you wouldn't know it, if you see what I mean. Well, you can't see what I mean, because they don't get through. Eh. Never mind.

---

Things were so pleasant and friendly here yesterday. I understand Zuckerman is taking complaints over at the other blog.

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 4, 2010 8:14 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Wow, that was fast. If he is a lot like Jamey, then I know I'll like him, dfh. Thanks for the scouting report. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 5, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

I really don't understand everyone's beefing about not signing a guy with a bum wrist, and who was beaten out of a job by Ronnie Belliard. I rather have Kennedy than Hudson anyway...lets go Nats!

Nationals sign Adam Kennedy
2/5/2010 5:54 AM - More photos Tony Gutierrez - AP Adam Kennedy, who played for the A's in '09 will be with Washington in 2010 as the free agent infielder signed on with the Nationals last night. Just hours after learning they'd been spurned by free agent infielder Orlando Hudson, who opted for a one-year/$5 million dollar deal with Minnesota, the Washington Nationals announced that they had agreed on a deal with former Cardinals, Angels and A's second baseman Adam Kennedy. The 34-year-old Kennedy told San Francisco Chronicle writer Susan Slusser in an article on Wednesday entitled, "Brett Tomko is throwing again, looking for deal", that his decision on where to sign was, "...on hold until Orlando Hudson decides where he's going." "Something should happen when he figures it out," Kennedy told the Chronicles' Ms. Slusser, and it wasn't long after FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal

Posted by: bromisky | February 5, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

I think we did good here. Kennedy has a pretty good bat and a good glove. Hudson really never wanted to play here, this is the second off season we've pursued him and he's waited till February to get an offer from someone else. I don't know how anyone could suggest paying Orlando Hudson $9 mil a year without breaking out laughing at the ridiculousness of it.

There's a difference between being smart and cheap. Here Rizzo was smart. Put the money in another OF or another SP. And next year, when Hudson is again a FA, forget him.

Posted by: raymitten | February 5, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

And please no Jarrod Washburn. I'd prefer you take the money and put it in a paper bag and burn it before signing him -- he's terrible.

Posted by: raymitten | February 5, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Kennedy instead of Hudson won't make a tremendous amount of difference, although Hudson's upside was bigger. Neither guy is going to lead us to the promised land and neither is a long term solution.

I don't see us getting Wang. We already have an iffy guy in Olsen, don't see us wasting two spots on question marks.

Just a question of when Livo signs.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 5, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

First, I would have loved the O-dog, mostly for his clubhouse presence and defense. However, Adam Kennedy is not a bad fallback position. Solid fielder and reasonable bat for a MI.

In terms of Rizzo and the Lerners, most of the people here act like the Nats are the only people negotiating with these players. Remember, that several teams were in on Hudson. The Twins see him as their way to get deep into the playoffs and help sign Mauer. Most of the rumors were that none of them would pay over $3M for his services, especially after he lost his job to Belliard who signed for $800K.

Chapman is a project. The Red Sox only bid $15.5M on him. The Marlins, perhaps the best scouting system in baseball based on who comes through that system, went to about $18M. The Nats were at $25M. I think we all would have loved to see the Nats sign Chapman, but I'll be even happier if they sign Cliff Lee after this season is over...

The Nats seem to be thinking long term. They have signed enough people to hopefully make us respectable. If Olson returns to form, J. Zimm returns, and Stasburg is the real thing, next year might be the year that Kasten has been talking about. The year you sign the final pieces to the puzzle. Perhaps Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford. How might that look for the Nats?

CF - Morgan
LF - Crawford
3b - Zim
1b - Dunn (with extension)
RF - Willingham/Dukes (decide after this year)
C - Flores
SS - Desmond
2b - Espinoza/Kobernus
P - SS

SP - C. Lee
SP - J. Zimm
SP - J. Marquis
SP - R. Detwiler/S. Olsen/S. Martis/etc...

Closer - Storen
RP - Bruney
RP - Capps
RP - Bergmann
RP - Mock/Balester

Bench - TBD

Not too bad if it works out. I can dream, can't I?

Posted by: NatsWin | February 5, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

FLop is also still available. I hear he's vastly improved & much better than Hudson (At the very least, it'd be interesting conversation between Rizzo and FLop's agent).

No really -- Kudos to Rizzo for picking up Kennedy so quickly after Hudson bailed.

Posted by: nattydread1 | February 5, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Ladson tweets we are back to looking at SP. That's a shocker.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 5, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

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