Orlando Hudson and the San Francisco Giants: Meet the old GM, same as the old GM

One of the more baffling rumors, courtesy of sfgiants.com:

The Giants' pursuit of free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, previously considered casual, is apparently serious.

The organization has invited him to meet its parents and everything. Hudson plays a position at which the Giants could use an upgrade, though there are semi-reasonable options in place if the Giants choose to ignore second base. Still, Kevin Frandsen and Eugenio Velez should never, ever, never, ever stand in the way of a team looking to sign a free agent. As fallback options, they’re not bad, but fallback options are all they should be.

Hudson plays silly defense. At least, he used to. And his on-base percentages for the past three years have been good: .367, .376, and .354 going back to 2006. He has a little pop, and he runs well. What’s not to like?

He’s 31, and he wants five years and $50M. Good gravy. How about no.

He had season-ending surgery last year to put a wrist bone back in place. In May, he had hamstring issues. Last year, he tore a ligament in his thumb a couple of months after jamming his ankle. Oh, and he’s 31. The wrist bone thing is serious – because the wrist bone connects to the arm bone that connects to the shoulder bone that connects to the heart bone that connects directly to the gamer bone – but it wouldn’t be as much of a red flag if he didn’t have a sordid injury history.

If the Giants signed Hudson, their second-round draft choice would go to a division rival. There's about a 10% chance that would come back to haunt the Giants, but it would sting if the Hudson signing bequeathed the next Dustin Pedroia to the Diamondbacks.

And Hudson just might be a Bank One creation. Now, home/road splits aren’t the final word on a player’s offensive ability. Almost every player hits better at home than on the road. Almost everyone laughed at the Nationals for trading for Alfonso Soriano, who appeared to be an Arlington mirage, and almost everyone learned a little bit of a lesson. But it’s wacky to just ignore park effects. In Arizona, Hudson is an MVP candidate. On the road, he’s close to the low end of what we’d hope for from Kevin Frandsen:

2006 – Home: .321/.397/.489 – Away: .254/.313/.421
2007 – Home: .302/.382/.511 – Away: .286/.370/.369
2008 – Home: .326/.403/.536 – Away: .288/.337/.381

Again, this doesn’t guarantee that he’d come to Mays Field and magically transform into Away Hudson for 162 games, but danged if that doesn’t raise more red flags than were raised for Yuri Gagarin’s parade through Moscow. Here’s five years! Fifty million clams! And…oh, dang. You really can’t hit away from Arizona. Well, we certainly aren’t re-signing you in 2014. You cost yourself a lucrative extension, pal.

Orlando Hudson: What you get when Edgardo Alfonzo’s contract mates with Ray Durham’s contract. Stay away. Far away. Far, far away. Two-year deal? Sure. I’m in. Three-year deal. Heck, that shouldn’t cripple a franchise. Five years, at star money? Insanity. If he were a 30-homer guy, I could see why the Giants would take the gamble. Or, if the Giants were a .500 team last season, I could see how he might help them become a contender. But he isn't, and they aren't.


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