Manny Ramirez Alternative Number Three

Eric Steven's Feb 14th deadline has come and gone and Manny is still on the open market and the Dodgers still have a team that is clearly short of the hitter they will need to join the elite teams of the NL.

So onto another possibility.

Orlando Hudson is stll on the market. The Dodgers seem primed to go in to battle with a 3rd baseman playing 2nd. DeWitt was okay defensively but it wouldn't take much to upgrade his defensive skill set at 2nd base. We know Hudson can hit, we think DeWitt can hit but he is still a wild card. Without Manny I'm not sure this team can afford Wildcards. The price for Hudson back in November sounded like 4-5 years at 10 Million per season. Now we are hearing he might take a one year deal for 3-5 Million.

So one possibility is to sign Hudson, trade something for Ryan Ludwick  the slugger from St. Louis. The tricky part is coming up with what St. Louis would consider equitable in return for Ludwick. They need a 2nd baseman, backup or starting SS for when Green goes down or they realize how bad he is. Some relief pitching and maybe someone in the rotation if Carpenter can't make it. Colby Rasmus is ready to play everyday for them so they have an alternative to Ludwick. I'm going to suggest DeWitt, D Young, Chin Lung Hu for Ryan Ludwick.  That may not be enough or to much depending on your point of view.  St. Louis could sign Hudson themselves but they seem to be out of money. So they get three cheap young players for Ludwick.

Now Ludwick may have been a fluke but the underlying numbers suggest that is not the case. He has contact problems but his real problem is his health. Last year he was healthy and put up the numbers we exepcted from him when he was one of Texans top young prospects.  If healthy we could be looking at a 850-875 OPS as his contact rate should drop his batting average around 25 points but the power is probably real based on G/L/F and HR/F rates.

Pro's:

1. One of the best fielding 2nd baseman in baseball Hudson would combine with Furcal to give the team a killer double play combo.

2. Over the last 5 years he has been one of the top 10 productive 2nd baseman in the NL.

3. Ludwick gives us a legitimate power threat and could be our clean up hitter.

Con's:

1. Hudson has had wrist problems each of the last two years which has cost the Diamondbacks dearly in the stretch run.

2. Hudson's great fielding days might be behind him which is a big part of his value.

3. Ludwick could easily get hurt just like he did every year from 2002 - 2006.

4. We could be trading a player in DeWitt that will come back and haunt us.

5. Hudson would cost us our 1st round pick. This is probably reason enough not to sign Hudson.

I'm starting to run out of ideas. Manny better sign soon. El Lay Dave's deadline will be the next to fall tomorrow.

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