The Twins accomplished two tasks this offseason in one move, acquiring shortstop J.J. Hardy from the Brewers in exchange for center fielder Carlos Gomez. Moving Gomez cleared a spot for Denard Span to play everyday in center, solving the season long crowding issue in the outfield that conjured up Delmon Young trade rumors, despite a .322 batting average after the All-Star Break. Hardy filled the shortstop hole left by free agent Orlando Cabrera.
The Twins have been pretty quiet this offseason, but sources say they are monitoring a cluster of free agent infielders. Brendan Harris is the teams third baseman, but he is better suited in a utility role, having played every infield position this past season. Alexi Casilla is not quite ready for the everyday job at second and would be better suited in a limited role.
One way the Twins could improve is add second baseman Orlando Hudson on a one-year deal to be the teams primary second baseman but also to be Casilla's mentor. Hudson has been burned by the past two free agent markets, so he may be looking for a team willing to go long-term with him. A two year deal would not be bad for the type of player Hudson can be.
The Twins' new stadium, Target Field, is set to open in April. It will be the first time outdoor baseball has been played in the Twin Cities in over twenty years. With Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Joe Nathan, and others, the Twins already have a solid core of players that are accepted and well-liked by the fan base. Hudson would bring even more energy to the Twins, and give the guys like Mauer and Morneau more opportunities to drive in runs.
It is unclear where else Hudson is drawing interest. One NL source believes the Mets are still kicking the tires on a Luis Castillo deal to make room for Hudson, but have failed in every which way.
While the Cubs like Jeff Baker at second, spending the six million dollars saved in the Milton Bradley trade on a guy like Hudson would give the Cubs the top of the order hitter they are looking for. Not only that, but Hudson is a bright spot in the clubhouse and would quickly become a favorite among Chicago reporters who fought all season with Milton Bradley.
There is no better time to be a Minnesota Twin. A veteran like Hudson or Adrian Beltre would prosper in a solid lineup like Minnesota that is a move or two away from being complete.