Sunday, December 20, 2009

Thinking Out Loud: Orlando Hudson to the Cubs?

A few days ago, I talked about the limited interest Orlando Hudson was receiving thus far on the free agent market (which included some great comments about possible landing spots for Hudson!). That same day, the Cubs traded away Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva, in a swap of horrible contracts that frees up some money for the Cubs to spend. The Mariners threw in $9 million dollars in the deal, and around $5 million of that will be applied this season, which means the Cubs now have some limited payroll flexibility to work with.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that the Cubs are now set to go after Marlon Byrd to replace Bradley in the outfield and potentially pursue a relief pitcher with closing experience (Matt Capps?) out of the bullpen. The Cubs are in the market for a centerfielder and a relief pitcher (at least) and Byrd is the best centerfielder left on the market and there are plenty of relief options out there for the Cubs to explore.

But, should the Cubs, now armed with their new found savings, opt against the conventional wisdom and try to sign Orlando Hudson instead of Byrd to fill their need at second base? As of right now, the Cubs have Mike Fontenot and Jeff Baker as their primary options at second, which is not a duo that Cubs fans should be too optimistic about. In the best case scenario, both of those guys should be platoon/bench players that can give the Cubs the depth they crave.

If the Cubs could sign Hudson to a short term deal at a team friendly price, then I think Hudson can be a bigger asset to the Cubs given his offensive ability, defensive ability (overrated to a certain degree), and strong leadership characteristics. Sure Marlon Byrd might give the Cubs a power hitting center fielder, but he will be awfully expensive and should require a multi year contract. If the Cubs choose against signing Byrd, they could go after a cheaper option on the free agent/trade market to fill their need in the outfield that will not require the money/years of Marlon Byrd.

Should the Cubs go after Orlando Hudson? Discuss and debate in the comments section.

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