Fox Sports, the San Diego Padres are looking to move either shortstop Fox Sports, the San Diego Padres are looking to move either shortstop

2011 MLB Trade Rumors: Padres Shopping Bartlett and Hudson

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According to Fox Sports, the San Diego Padres are looking to move either shortstop Jason Bartlett or second baseman Orlando Hudson this winter.  The Padres would primarily be looking for salary relief in any deal involving the pair, and San Diego reportedly feels that it will be easier to move Bartlett because of his contract.

Last winter, the Padres, then under Cubs current general manager Jed Hoyer, acquired the up-the-middle combo of Bartlett and Hudson.  First, Hoyer and the Padres traded several players to the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Bartlett.  Then, days later, San Diego handed Hudson a two-year, $11.5 million contract.

Now, Hoyer’s gone and the Padres are coming off a 91 loss season.  San Diego is now looking for ways to cut salary, and Bartlett and Hudson are two prime veteran candidates to be moved.  Fox Sports says that if Bartlett is traded, the Padres will likely go with Everth Cabrera, a younger and cheaper alternative, at shortstop.  If Hudson is the one that is dealt, San Diego has several options to fill in at second including Cabrera, Logan Forsythe and Andy Parrino.

Bartlett is set to make $5.5 million in 2012 and has a $5.5 team option for 2013.  If his option is not picked up, Bartlett would receive a $1.5 million buyout.

Hudson will also be making $5.5 million next season and has an $8 million team option for 2013.  If Hudson’s team option is declined, the second baseman will instead be receiving a $2 million buyout.

Each player is on the wrong side of 30, Hudson 33 and Bartlett 32, and neither had a particularly inspiring 2011.  Hudson hit .246/.329/.352 over his 119 games while Bartlett compiled a line of .245/.308/.307 in his 139 contests.  Hudson sports the better lifetime OPS, .762 compared to .710, but Bartlett plays a more prime position.

The free agent market for second baseman is fairly weak, but teams may not be willing to pay the salary relief required to obtain Hudson.

Meanwhile, there are still several quality shortstops available, so it may be awhile before a trade market develops for Bartlett.  The Phillies, Cardinals, Braves, Mets and Brewers are all known to be seeking help at short, but many of them are favorites to land one of the position’s top free agent options.

For more on the Padres, be sure to check out Chicken Friars.