So what is next for the Padres?
Well...They have been rumored to be interested in Orlando Hudson.
Hudson himself commented on the Padres interest in an interview with MLB.com's Bill Ladson.
"There is good progress going on every day," Hudson said. "I will sign soon enough. You can put it on the Internet and on TV. I'm going to sign. I can't say exactly when. It will not be long. I can't say if it's with the Nationals, San Diego or Cleveland. I can't say with whom. Something is getting done."
Yesterday Ladson commented on Twitter and in an MLB.com article that the Nationals are likely out of the chase for Hudson. In the article Ladson explains that the Nationals have offered Hudson just $3 million and he has asked for $9 to play there. He goes on to say that the Nationals are are now focused on signing Adam Dunn to an extension and will look to sign the much cheaper Adam Kennedy or find an internal solution at 2B instead.
As far as the money goes, I have read different columnists that have said Hudson is asking for anywhere from a 2 year $10 million deal (Ken Rosenthal) to $9 million for one season (Ladson, Phil Wood, Jon Heyman), but I believe Hudson would take a deal in the $4.5-$5.5 million range if it included an option for a 2nd season.
Hudson would be a perfect fit on the Padres.
While he is not the plus defender many think he is (average of -2.6 UZR the past 3 seasons) and does not have the sure hands of Eckstein (9 errors vs 2 in 2009), but he does have better range.
The biggest upgrade would be in terms of Hudson's offense. Hudson hit for decent average (.293 over the past 3 seasons with a 107 OPS+) and provides a little power (27 hr over past 3 seasons) While his offense would likely drop slightly with the move to the ultimate pitchers park at Petco, his type of line drive offense would play to the park.
The added bench depth from moving David Eckstein to a backup for both 2b and ss would give the Padres one of the deepest and most versatile benches in the major leagues.
While they are playing in Petco as it is currently configured the Padres will have to take advantage of the pitchers park by having good to great defense.
Two of the teams rumored to also be in on Hudson, the Reds and the Rockies are said to be the final two teams that Orlando Cabrera will be choosing between in the next few days. Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports said in a Twitter post that if the Rockies do not sign OCab they will likely turn to Melvin Mora to fill their middle infield needs instead of Hudson.
With the Nationals likely out of the running for Hudson and the Rockies and Reds looking elsewhere, that leaves the cash strapped Indians, the Twins and the Padres.
Where do you think Hudson ends up?
So what other needs do the Padres have?
To my way of thinking backup catcher is an area of need for the Padres. While they did trade for Dusty ryan and signed minor league defensive specialist Chris Stewart, the Padres really need a veteran that can be a teacher for the catcher they have appearantly chosen as their starter - nick Hundley.
The Padres have been rumored to be interested in Yorvit Torrealba, Brad Ausmus, Benji Molina, Miguel Olivo and several other catchers.
Most of the free agent catchers the Padres have reportedly been interested in have been signed already, but Torrealba is still on the market but likely would want more than the 40 or so starts and $1 million the Padres would likely be willing and able to offer. Torrealba reportedly turned down a 2 year $5.6 million contract to return to the Rockies.
Rod Barajas is another veteran catcher that is still on the market and that would fit in well on the Padres because of his defense and right handed power, but he is also rumored to be looking for a starting position.
My choice of the remaining free agent catchers would be Jose Molina. Jose, a lifetime backup, does not have the bat of his brother Benji or Torrealba, but he does bring plus defense and a veteran hand for a young pitching staff.
Likely the Padres will likely wait until close to the beginning of spring training to make any additional signings. The players still on the market are going to be signing for much less than the they were looking for when the off season started and the Padres will be able to come away with the bargains they need.
So what do you think will happen next for the Padres?