Arizona Diamondbacks: Can They Trade Orlando Hudson?

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Arizona Diamondbacks: Can They Trade Orlando Hudson?

It has been a long time since the D'backs had a decent winning streak. In fact, April seems like a year ago to the Arizona fans. Fans are begging for some dramatic changes to kick the D'backs back into the high gear that was running so many months ago.

Injuries have taken their toll on Arizona this year. With Eric Byrnes out for the year (it would seem), Chad Tracy out for the first few months, Juan Cruz, Micah Owings, and Max all straining from working the mound, the D'backs would appear to be suffering.

They have fallen from their astronomical lead in the NL West to a paltry half-game lead over the equally-suffering Dodgers. 

There are a few who believe that things cannot continue this way. When so many baseball experts picked the Dodgers and D'backs to lead the league with great-hitting rookies and power pitching, it is hard to believe that they are the laughing stock of the NL. 

Many would argue that despite the winning percentage and the poor hitting, the D'backs really only need to be "good enough" to keep their top spot and get in a Rockies-like groove at the end of the year in order to make a push for their second World Series victory.

As much as I have tried to stay positive, I cannot believe that things will magically get better. As a result, there are moves that need to be made.

There are many players on the D'backs roster who are under-performing. I would love to put most of them on a boat and point it toward the Bermuda Triangle, but it would fail to improve anything.

 

Chris Burke

The former top-prospect for the Astros has proved to be a terrible fit in Arizona. His .173 batting average makes him worthless as a pinch hitter, and his "Jack of all trades, master of none" approach to defense makes him a paltry defensive sub. There are a few teams that could use a player like Burke in the NL, but the D'backs are unlikely to get MLB-ready talent for him.

 

Alex Romero

The rookie outfielder has been called up and sent down three times already this season, but he still has a few options left. While the D'backs should hesitate to move any more outfielding prospects before giving them a chance (see: Carlos Quintin), Romero could stand to be an attractive trade-piece as an add-on to a larger deal.

 

Chris Snyder

Currently riding the pine with the help of an inflatable donut, this former top prospect has never come around as the star everyone thought he would be. After coming on strong at the end of 2007, and having a great spring, Snyder has a .246 average and only managed seven home runs.

On the upside, he is young and has the experience of catching two Cy Young winners (even if one refuses to pitch to him).

 

Orlando Hudson

The three-time Gold Glove winner will command a huge contract at the end of 2008. Baseball Prospectus estimates a $25M, four-year deal. Realistically, he will demand a bigger contract than Byrnes' three-year, $30M contract that was signed at the end of 2007.

The D'backs have no reason to put that money up (especially after the way the Byrnes deal ended). Not only do they have a capable 2B prospect in Emilio Bonifacio, but they have an MLB-ready star in Augie Ojeda.

Hudson is hitting .303 with the D'backs this year, and he has managed seven home runs.  The loss of his .303 bat would be tough if not for Ojeda's .305 bat that sits on the bench. Their loss of Hudson's character and clubhouse presence would, undoubtedly, be the greatest obstacle for the D'backs to overcome. 

Teams that seem to be lacking at the second base position that could be buyers are the Braves, Dodgers, Brewers, Rays, Cardinals, and White Sox.

Of those teams, the D'backs should be looking to acquire a catcher with a bat, a set-up man, or an outfielder with a bat.

The Braves have Brian McCann, but are thin behind the plate after trading Salty last year. Their outfield and pen are thin due to injuries, providing slim pickings.

The Dodgers have Andre Ethier (a Phoenix native) whom they have talked about trading.  Of course, with Pierre on the DL and Jones playing at a single-A level, the Dodgers wouldn't likely trade to their rival. Though Hudson would be a signable replacement for Jeff Kent for the next five years for them.

The Rays could package Grant Balfour and Gabe Gross together, giving the D'backs an outstanding set-up man and a decent outfield bat. The Rays are close to Hudson's home of South Carolina, which may attract him. They could also win the World Series, which would attract anyone.

The Cards could improve greatly at second by sacrificing another Arizona native like Chris Duncan. Packaged with a guy like Todd Wellemeyer, the Cards could end up helping the D'backs greatly.

The White Sox are long-time trading partners with the D'backs and could send the D'backs Boone Logan and Brian Anderson, providing them with some young talent.

In all reality, the D'backs need a guy like Jason Veritek. He is practically Red Sox royalty, but many in Boston feel that it is time for the Captain to move on. His leadership skills would be greatly appreciated in the young Arizona clubhouse.

A change to the NL could help break him out of his slump, and his defense would dramatically improve the Swiss cheese that usually receives the D'backs' starters.

There isn't much that the D'backs have that the Red Sox would want, but I'm sure Josh Byrnes would be happy to send Burke, Hudson, and Chad Tracy over to Boston for a guy like 'Tek.

In the end, Hudson needs to go.

He is obviously not providing the spark that the D'backs need to win games. His defense has fallen off significantly over the years, and his attitude is crap. It may be tough for the Arizona brass to move one of the best hitters on a team that has trouble hitting .200, but drastic times call for drastic measures.

We can't re-sign him, and we have the chance to win this year. Move him before it is too late. Another draft pick only means we have to wait longer for October.

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