Jamey Carroll just signed with the Twins to play shortstop. This could help the Padres in a couple ways. One: the Padres won't have to face his pesky ass next year. Two: It thinned the FA market for starting second basemen. There should now be more demand than supply. Which should create a market for Orlando Hudson.
The remaining Second Basemen on the FA market are these guys:
Clint Barmes (33) - Type B
Andres Blanco (28)
Orlando Cabrera (37)
Alex Cora (36)
Craig Counsell (41)
Mark Ellis (35) - Type B
Jerry Hairston Jr. (36)
Bill Hall (32)
Aaron Hill (30) - Type B
Kelly Johnson (30) - Type A
Adam Kennedy (36)
Felipe Lopez (32)
Jose Lopez (28)
Aaron Miles (35)
Nick Punto (34)
Drew Sutton (29)
In parentheses is the player's age and the players that will likely be thought of as starters are in bold. The teams in definite need of a starter at second base are: D-Backs, Blue Jays, Tigers, Dodgers, and Rockies. There are other teams that might want second base help, but those other teams would probably be okay with backup types. I imagine Barmes will sign as a starting shortstop somewhere leaving 3 legitimate starting second basemen with 5 teams in need.
Given this market I think that the Padres could find a trade partner if they choose to shop Hudson. After all he should be worth the contract. A reasonable prediction for his 2012 production would be about 2 WAR, which is worth about $9M. If he were a FA this offseason I imagine he would get an offer similar to the contract he has now, one year at 5.5M with an option and buyout for a 2nd year.
I think they should choose to shop him for a few reasons:
One: For whatever reason the guy just does not seem to be a good fit in San Diego. He had the twitter arguments with fans. There was also some sentiment that he was not a good fit in the clubhouse.
Two: It would free up money. The Padres would have an extra 5.5M to spend this offseason and 2M to spend next offseason.
Three: Given the market for second basemen I think the Padres could get some potentially useful prospect in return. Someone that profiles as a potential reliever or utility guy maybe.
Four: I kind of think Forsythe could be just as valuable as Hudson for a fraction of the cost. Plus I would like to see if Forsythe can handle being a starting second baseman at the major league level. I think the Padres will be serious competitors starting in 2013. With no other in-house alternatives at second in the upper minors, it's either Forsythe or a free agent in 2013. If they signed a solid utility guy like Jairston or Punto, they could afford to find out what they have in Forsythe next year.
It is not a case where Hudson's really blocking a top prospect that's forcing him out or his contract is too burdensome. So it is not something I feel needs to happen. However I think there is a pretty good argument for putting him on the trading block this offseason. Hopefully we could find a trade partner. There's been reported interest from the Rockies. They seem to be pretty down on Eric Young Jr., maybe they'd swap him for the O-Dog.