Tagged: Second Base

Everybody Likes Orlando

The Minnesota Twins have had some recent success with Orlando. Last season, in a mid-season trade, Orlando Cabrera arrived and helped lift the Twins to a division title. Less than three weeks from spring training, Orlando Hudson has now arrived, and his arrival brings excitement.

The entire infield for Minnesota, outside of mainstay Justin Morneau of course, has been changing year after year. By signing shortstop J.J. Hardy two days into the off-season, the Twins shored up one slot and left two more for work. 
Third base will be taken over by Brendan Harris and Nick Punto, and second base will now be occupied by an All-Star caliber player. Hudson last season hit .283 with 9 homeruns and 62 runs batted in. His numbers are much more than a slight improvement to both the second slot in the lineup and the second base position. 
Last season in the second spot in the order, the Twins hit a combined .232 with 7 homeruns and 66 RBI when Joe Mauer wasn’t there. The second basemen combined to hit .209 with 2 homeruns, 43 RBI and an on-base percentage of just .302 (compared to Hudson’s .357 mark).
Hudson will earn $5 million on a one-year deal that includes no incentives. There are award bonuses included, and the Twins can’t offer arbitration if Hudson qualifies as a Type-A free agent, but the moves was a no brainer. 
After reportedly being rejected by left-handed starter Jarrod Washburn earlier this off-season after the team offered the same one-year, $5 million deal, and after Francisco Liriano stunned the Twin Cities with his winter ball performance, it only made sense for the organization to focus it’s attention and money toward the second base options. 
The off-season began with question marks in the rotation, on the bench, and in three of four infield positions. As spring training draws near, the Twins have now addressed each of those questions, and their off-season might just be considered one of the best in baseball (Hardy, Hudson, Pavano, Thome, Condry). 

Two Upgrades Remain

With each passing day, the Minnesota Twins’ chances to upgrade both the infield and lineup have gone right with. Off the table are Pedro Feliz, Garrett Atkins, Chone Figgins, Troy Glaus, Mark DeRosa, Adrian Beltre and Kevin Kouzmanoff. The third base options have dried up, and if the team upgrades before spring training, it’ll need to be in the form of a second basemen.

At third base, there are no more options. Joe Crede would be much of the same; a half-season player with decent production when healthy, and Miguel Tejada has never played anywhere but short, and the Twins haven’t been connected with him all off-season.
At second base, there are two sensible options for the Twins. Due to currently high demands, both Orlando Hudson and Felipe Lopez remain on the market. There are many teams interested, and in the end it may come down to which team is willing to give the extra year or extra dollars. 
Between Denard Span and Joe Mauer, both Hudson and Lopez would fit well. While Hudson hit .283 in 149 games last season, Lopez hit .310 in 151 games, Hudson posted an on-base percentage of .357 while Lopez posted one of .383, and Hudson hit 9 homeruns and drove in 62 runners while Lopez hit 9 homeruns and drove in 57 runners. 
A recent report put Hudson’s demand at $9 million per season. No team will pay that number, and so it’ll be a waiting game. The Washington Nationals are interested, as are other teams, but if the Twins want to make one final mark and truly upgrade the infield, they have just two more obvious chances remaining.