Hudson ready to jump in with Sox

CHICAGO -- Veteran infielder Orlando Hudson immersed himself Tuesday into the Chicago White Sox clubhouse during his first day with his new team.

Hudson, who was signed by the White Sox after being released by the San Diego Padres last week, exchanged hugs, handshakes and laughs with teammates, many of whom he already knew, prior to Tuesday’s game with the Minnesota Twins.

“There were other teams who offered more playing time,” said the 34-year-old Hudson, a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner. “I’ve played with (White Sox reliever) Jesse Crain. Me and Adam Dunn have known each other since we first signed, same agent. Me and Jake Peavy have been together a long time. When you’re close to guys, it makes you feel at home.

“It’s like home-grown here. It was easy to make the decision.”

Signing Hudson also made sense for the White Sox. He’s expected to help to fill in for injured third baseman Brent Morel, who went on the disabled list on Tuesday, occasionally play second base, provide some speed as a pinch-runner, be able to utilize his switch-hitting ability and bring some life to the clubhouse.

Hudson was released by the Padres on Thursday. He signed a two-year, $11.5 million contract with the Padres before the 2011 season. He is hitting .211 with one home run, 11 RBIs and three stolen bases in 35 games this season.

“They might ask me to catch a little bit, they might ask me to pitch,” Hudson joked. “I don’t know. Whatever they want from me, I’ll go out and perform, help the ball club, win some games, bring some energy and play the game I know how to play.

“I just go out there and just play. I want to have fun. We’re playing a kids’ game. We’re blessed to be playing a kids’ game and make money. It’s a blessing. Why not go out enjoy the blessing that God gave you? I try to go out with that attitude every day.”

Hudson hasn’t played third base in the majors and last played it in the minor leagues when he was first coming up with the Toronto Blue Jays more than 10 years ago.

“It’s good,” Hudson said. “(Alex Rodriguez) moved over (to third base.) Cal Ripken moved over. Omar Vizquel moved over. A lot of guys moved there. So I’ll probably be joining the gang, too.

“First of all, nothing’s easy playing this game. A groundball is a groundball. It definitely comes a little harder at third base.”

Hudson began getting comfortable at the position prior to Tuesday’s game and took groundballs with Eduardo Escobar at third base. Escobar started at third base on Tuesday.

White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko was familiar with Hudson and thought he could bring something to the team.

“He’s a good player,” Konerko said. “He’s been around for a long time, a veteran. He’ll be fine. He knows how to fit in. He’s been on different teams. He has some things to contribute.”