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Hudson: Nationals still in mix

Hudson: Nationals still in mix

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WASHINGTON -- Free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson said Friday afternoon that the Nationals are still in the mix to acquire his services.

Hudson, 32, also said he hopes to sign with a team soon, but would not give a timetable nor talk about negotiations with any club.

"Things are good. That's all I'm going to say about that. We'll know after a while," Hudson said via phone. "It won't be too much longer before we know where I'll be headed. The Nationals are still [in the mix], yes. ... We are going to make sure things are right."

It is believed Hudson is asking for $9 million for 2010, which is too much for the Nationals. In fact, one baseball source believes the Giants set the market for infielders like Hudson when they re-signed Juan Uribe to a one-year, $3.25 million contract on Jan. 5.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo wasn't available to comment on Hudson, who hit .283 with nine home runs and 62 RBIs for the Dodgers last season.

What may be in the Nationals' favor is that Hudson has close relationships with outfielder Willie Harris and first baseman Adam Dunn. Hudson and Harris have been close friends since the late 1990s, when they played against each other in the Minor Leagues. Harris was a prospect for the Orioles, while Hudson was in the Blue Jays' system. Dunn and Hudson were teammates with the D-backs in 2008.

Hudson also liked the comments made by Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan on Thursday. Morgan, Washington's leadoff hitter, would be happy to see him and Hudson hit back-to-back in the starting lineup and wreak havoc on opposing pitchers.

"It's a [big deal] coming from a young player who has a bright future like himself," Hudson said about Morgan. "He has confidence in an old man like myself and I know how he can play. I enjoy watching the kid play. He plays the game the right way. He plays hard and I really like that.

"It would be a great lineup to be in, but we'll see how things work out. If I'm with the Nationals, I will give them 110 percent. We are definitely working on some things. Washington is a great place. The Nationals are heading in the right direction. With Willie Harris, Nyjer Morgan and my guy, Adam Dunn, who I'm close to -- it's all good."

Hudson is one of three free-agent second basemen the Nationals targeted this offseason. They had interest in Mark DeRosa, but he signed with the Giants. In the past few weeks, Washington also expressed interest in Adam Kennedy, who said Friday the feelings are mutual.

"I pay attention to what everyone is doing this offseason," Kennedy said. "The Nationals have made some good moves. I know [manager] Jim Riggleman a little bit. I would definitely be interested in something like that."

Kennedy had a nice comeback season in 2009, hitting .289 with 11 home runs and 63 RBIs with the Athletics. The previous two years, he played in a combined 202 games because of benchings and injuries.

Kennedy, 34, is best known for his years with the Angels. In 2002, he was the American League Championship Series MVP after hitting three home runs against the Twins in Game 5.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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