Jeff Kent and Orlando Hudson: What Kent's Retirement Really Means

Michael MulraneyCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2009

The O-Diggity-Dog should be packing his bags and heading to Los Angeles.  Jeff Kent, probably the best second baseman to strap them up, announced he would retire on Thursday.  It opens a spot at second base.

Now, Orlando Hudson is out there waiting for a great contract offer.  Considering Manny Ramirez's market has cooled down considerably, the mind might wander to Hudson to fill Kent's gap. 

I'm not going to say Orlando is Jeff Kent, but who is?  Chase Utley is the closest thing, but he's locked up for quite some time.  Orlando is the best free agent second baseman out there.  He's a star, and if Manny does leave, there's still someone there to entertain the fans. 

He doesn't have the power of Manny or Kent, but he's statistically a better fielder than Kent, and a very good number two hitter.  He'll move the runner and steal the occasional base.  He puts the ball in play, gathering an average number of walks, and he doesn't strike out much.

Hudson has spent the last three years in the National League West, so he won't have to learn new pitchers.  There will be no adjustment time.  He's a solid player.

.280 hitter.  He'll hit ten homers—he's got the possibility of hitting forty doubles.  A threat for constant triples. The O-Dog gets it done.

Jeff Kent is going to leave a dent—not easily repaired by one player. To replace a spectacular player with a serviceable solid player is something the Dodgers should take. 

Jeff Kents don't grow on trees, but neither do Orlando Hudsons.  It's important to the success of the Dodgers that they pick up a solid second baseman.  If Manny returns, he'll hit behind Hudson, who I'm sure will have more than his fair share of runners in scoring position for him.  If Manny doesn't return, the Dodgers should have the enough talent to push forward. 

Hudson is a good fit for the Dodgers.  Hopefully they think so too.