Looks like one of the Twins' championship ingredients has priced himself out of the organization:
- Hudson, who turns 33 in December, told me he would love to return to the Twins, but he's a pending free agent, and the writing is on the wall with their payroll situation. It looks like he'll be playing for his fourth team in four years in 2011.
You might recall the Twins giving Casilla a job in the spring of 2007, and then again later that summer. Both times, he basically washed out. But he was only 22, and he bounced back some the next season. But 2009 looked a lot like 2007, which resulted in the signing of Orlando Hudson. When Casilla did play in 2010, though, he played reasonably well.
The problem is that you can't be sure which Alex Casilla you're getting; his OPS+'s in his four seasons with the Twins: 40, 91, 44, 97. And that last figure is actually better than Hudson's. There's a decent chance that Casilla will actually give the Twins just as much in 2011 as they got in 2010 from Hudson.
No, that's not the way to bet. Casilla's lousy seasons count, too. And it's not like he tore things up in the minors, either. But considering his age and Hudson's, and the vast difference in the amount of money each will earn in 2011, the decision to let Hudson walk away is highly defensible.