This will-they won't-they stuff is getting tiresome. We all know whenever Orlando Hudson sleeps with the Nationals it's going to ruin the show. So just get it over with and we can move on to the Elijah Dukes inherits a fortune subplot.
I know we're supposed think highly of the organization because they aren't going to pay over value for Hudson (more on that in a sec). But you know what I don't get? The Nats, not two months ago, signed Pudge Rodriguez to a 2 year, 6million dollar contract when last year he (1) signed for a 1.5 million dollar (+ 1.5 million in incentives) deal, and (2) sucked. What makes Hudson different that the Nats can't possibly bring themselves to overpay a little to make this happen? The fact that he's actually slightly above average? That he's not at the age he could be a grandfather? They also signed Matt Capps, a low K relief pitcher coming off a bad year, to a 3.5 million dollar deal. Do we need to discuss the fungibility of your average reliever?
I didn't think either of these were terrible deals because I felt the Nats were doing on a small scale something that I like to see teams do: overpay for need. They needed a catcher - they identified a catcher they wanted - they overpaid to get him. They needed a closer - they identified a closer they wanted - they overpaid to get him. Used to be those kind of signings were only good for teams where one or two more wins meant the difference between playoffs and not. However, times are changing. It used to be overpaying meant both $ and years. You'd be stuck with a guy making too much for too long. Nowadays it's only about money. Guys don't get long deals. Mistakes are more easily brushed aside becuase either after this year or next you can move on. More teams can afford to overpay.
And these guys are on the low end of the salary scale. So Pudge only should have gotten 2.5 mill for two years (based on name mainly). So Capps shouldn't have gotten over 2. So the Nats put in 6.5 million into payroll for 2010 when they might have gotten away with 3.25. We're talking about a major league team here - 3.25 million shouldn't be a make or break amount. It wasn't for those two and yet for Hudson it is for some reason. I don't get it. Either commit to spending a little bit - like 10% more to fill needs or don't. Don't decide now, with the player that could honestly really make a difference, to draw a line in the sand.
Orlando's not great. But he's better than what the Nats have and puts them one step further from the dregs that they've been at the past few years. All for what amounts to making the Nationals the 23rd highest payroll in the league rather than the 26th. Sign the guy.
Shhhhh. In DC, the 9th largest metro area with all that per capita income. Shhhhh.