Friday, February 20, 2009
Updated: February 21, 7:48 PM ET
2B Hudson to join Dodgers
By Jayson Stark
The Los Angeles Dodgers reached a one-year deal with second baseman Orlando Hudson on Saturday.
Hudson will earn $3.38 million.
Hudson, 31, has spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He started off the winter looking for a deal in the neighborhood of five years, $50 million. And that asking price -- plus his Type A free-agent status -- caused a number of teams to veer in other directions.
The Dodgers had been planning to replace the retired Jeff Kent with Blake DeWitt at second. But the opportunity to sign a player like Hudson, a two-time Gold Glove winner, at an affordable price changed those plans.
Hudson's deal includes $4.6 million in incentives. The Kansas City Royals were offering Hudson a 1-year, $4.6 million deal in base salary.
Signing Hudson will cost the Dodgers a first-round pick in the June draft. However, they still have a sandwich pick after the first round and an extra second-round pick, as compensation for losing free agent Derek Lowe.
So they clearly decided they could afford to sacrifice a high pick if it meant a chance to add a player like Hudson. They could still gain an additional first-round or second-round pick if Manny Ramirez signs elsewhere.
The Dodgers are expected to turn their attention back to Ramirez, who remains without a team -- and without an offer better than the two-year, $45 million offer from the Dodgers he passed on in November.
Jayson Stark is a senior baseball writer for ESPN.com. Information from ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney was used in this report.