If the rumors are true, and it’s likely they are very close to being true, then the Indians made a “serious” bid for Orlando Hudson prior to Hudson signing a one-year deal with the Twins.
I put serious in quotations because it’s not known how seriously Hudson took the offer. However, if the reports are true, the Indians offered a 2 year, $10 million dollar contract that was apparently heavily backloaded. The Indians did this as they had no way to really increase payroll this year, so they decided they would defer it to 2011 by backloading the contract. Anthony Castrovince of mlb.com says the 2010 salary was, “not at all substantial.” There was also a buyout for 2012. Misguided, but kinda clever.
I should state that I’m almost universally against teams, especially the Indians, back loading contracts. As the player gets older, their skills decline, and soon you’ve got like two years and a $*** ton of money that you owe this player, who probably isn’t as good as when he signed the contract, plus he’s overpaid, making him next to impossible to trade. It’s usually not a sound investment.
As far as the Hudson case was, it really wouldn’t have been that big of a risk. The deal was only two years long, and he’s been fairly durable throughout his career. We wouldn’t have had to trade Fausto Carmona, which if you remember was my big hangup with the whole ordeal last week.
While Hudson would have been an improvement over Luis Valbuena, I still don’t think it would have been nearly enough to compete in a weak AL Central. So you kind of have to wonder what the point was.
Still, I give Shapiro a lot of credit. It was a creative offer, and that’s the type of thinking the Indians need if they’re going to stay ahead of their deeper pocketed rivals.