It’s Not To Late To Sign Orlando Hudson

An article by posted on February 16, 2009

Omar Minaya has proved adept at lying in the weeds and swooping in at the right moment to add star power to the Mets.  He used that prudent strategy to sign free agents Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana, and this off-season, Frankie Rodriquez.

 

Ironically, when he deviated, and basically bid against himself, he landed Luis Castillo.  That signing has been a disaster.  But, Minaya can rectify it with one more signing.

 

Bring in Orlando Hudson, Now. 

 

It’s obvious that management is nervous handing the job to the oft-injured Castillo (after a game last season I saw him walking around the clubhouse with ice wraps on both shoulders and both knees.  He looked like he had escaped from a King Tutt exhibition).

 

Why else would they invite Jose Valentine to camp, after he missed last year with his own cornucopia of injuries, and re-sign 36-year old journey man Ramon Martinez (who started over Castillo in the waning days of last season)?  Moreover, if you think Alex Cora was inked only to bolster the bench, I have some prime real estate in the swamps of New Jersey just for you.

 

Second base for the Mets has been a black hole that swallows up players, much like third base was before David Wright arrived.  From Jeff Kent to Carlos Baerga, and to the disappointing Roberto Alomar, the time is ripe for Minaya to stop the revolting revolving door and make Hudson a modest offer.

 

Reportedly, he proposed a one-year deal for Bobby Abreu (around $5 million), now just float it Hudson‘s way.  We are in one-year contract territory with position players slated to report next week.  All he can do is reject it. 

 

If he says yes, and wants to play for a contender in a big-market replete with a spanking new ballpark, it could be a win-win for all.  Hudson gets to show his wares for one more year in hopes of landing a longer deal if the economy recovers.  He’s a fool if he thinks the grass is greener elsewhere.

 

Soon enough Hudson and his fellow free agents (Manny, et al) will be playing in the league of the forgotten. 

 

The Mets could use his speed, glove, and spunk.  He also has a rep as a stellar clubhouse leader, an attribute this team sorely lacks.  The media would have another spokesman to query daily and that might ease the burden on Wright. 

 

How about a top four of Reyes, Hudson, Beltran, and Wright?  Mix in Delgado, Tatis/Murphy, and Church, and that is a formable seven.  The Mets scored a league second best (tied with Phillies) 799 runs last year, only the Cubs’ 855 was better in the National League.

 

(By the way, forget about Jerry Manuel’s bluster regarding moving Castillo to lead off and pushing Reyes to the two-hole.  He has the least confidence in the former Marlin as anyone in the organization-why else would he play Martinez the last week with everything at stake, and remember the last time they tried tinkering with Reyes?)

 

Minaya has always believed in the old baseball tenet that you can never have enough pitching, and he fortified this by signing Livan Hernandez, to vie for the number five starting spot with Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia. 

 

He also has every second baseman not named Wally Backman and Edgardo Alfonzo in camp vying for Castillo’s job.

 

Does he really believe the switch-hitter can return to his average 138 games played from 1999-2007?  He managed only 87 games last season and it’s quite evident that his 1,492 career games have stripped him of his speed and agility.  Both were staples of his game.

 

Add Orlando Hudson and that might be your crowning achievement, Omar.  

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