Hudson understands Williams' motivation
June, 24, 2012
By Chris Silva | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Orlando Hudson said that if he was in the position of White Sox general manager Kenny Williams, he'd have traded for Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, too.
David Banks/Getty ImagesOrlando Hudson was appreciative of the opportunity Ken Williams gave him, but he understands the move for Kevin Youkilis.
"I'm not the best third baseman over there, plus I'm not swinging the bat well, so definitely I'd make the same trade," Hudson said.
At least publicly, Hudson has no hard feelings toward the Sox regarding the trade that will supplant him at third base and force him into a utility role. Prior to signing with the White Sox on May 22 when Brent Morel went to the disabled list with a back injury, the veteran Hudson had never played third base. He's spent his entire 11-year career at second base. With the Sox, Hudson was hitting just .167 with four errors at third.
Manager Robin Ventura said that Hudson will join Eduardo Escobar in a utility role. Though given second baseman Gordon Beckham's recent increase in production, it's hard to tell just what kind of opportunities there will be for Hudson, who said that his future with the club rests in the front office.
"Kenny, he's the man, so whatever decision he makes ..." Hudson said. "But I've got to thank him, first of all, for getting me over here and giving me a chance. But if things are different, no hard feelings. This is a business. It's a part of baseball."
Williams, for one, was appreciative of Hudson's effort at third base.
"Very simply, I must commend the spirit and the job Orlando Hudson has done up to this point for us," Williams said on Sunday. "We needed to fill the position. He came in admirably and really went after it. He's made some great plays over there. In terms of wanting and needing a little bit more stability at the position, as well as providing a little bit of offense in the form that Kevin can provide it, another on-base percentage guy, another guy that is not afraid to get a big hit, we just thought at this time it was necessary and necessary to do it sooner rather than later."
Williams said he could sense an edge to Youkilis when the two spoke on the phone Sunday afternoon. Youkilis had said the Red Sox kept him in the dark regarding his standing with the club this season, as the three-time All-Star has played just 41 games with Boston focused on the development of Will Middlebrooks. Youkilis was hitting .225 this season with more strikeouts (39) than hits (32) but appeared in just 41 games. He's a career .286 hitter with averages of 23 home runs and 96 RBI.
"I can't tell you exactly what he said but he wants to come in and he wants to prove some people wrong," Williams said.
Meanwhile, Escobar, who had the game-winning hit on Sunday, has proven capable of playing second base, shortstop, third base and left field this season, which gives the Sox a true utility player in addition to reserve outfielder Jordan Danks and now Hudson in the infield.
"Yeah I'm excited," Escobar said about the possibility of playing more outfield. "I'm excited just to play, so wherever they put me ... I think it's something where they've tried me out in a few different positions and I've practiced in different positions to show them that I can play, so my mind has always been set - wherever they put me I'll be ready to play."