David Eckstein is said to be one of those "players." You know, one of those guys that are great for teams because they play the game right and are true blue professionals. But, you still have to score runs and limit runs from the other team. The San Diego Padres just signed Orlando Hudson and he is an upgrade on the former and a slight downgrade on the latter.
The difference in their bWAR really isn't all that different. Orlando Hudson scored a 2.0 WAR as the Twins' second baseman while David Eckstein came in at 1.4. B-R rated Eckstein's defense slightly higher than Hudson, but Hudson is no slouch with the glove. In fact, he's been known for years as a slick-fielding second baseman.
What Hudson does offer the Padres is better offense, something the Padres desperately need, especially since their first baseman now plays for the Red Sox. The Padres were supposed to get Jason Bartlett in a trade from the Bay Rays but for some reason, that trade has been snagged up. But if the Padres can get that done, they have a real nice double play combo in the middle of the diamond.
As for Eckstein, he's still a free agent and it seems that some team will pick him up on his reputation alone. He can be somebody's utility guy and play short, second and third in a pinch. But second base is definitely his best position.
Eckstein finished last year with an 83 OPS+ and sits at 87 for his career. Hudson should be a nice upgrade from those numbers as his OPS+ was 93 last year and 99 for his career. Hudson is more patient at the plate and has more pop in his bat. He also strikes out more than Eckstein.
As long as Hudson stays around the 2.0 mark for WAR, this is a nice upgrade for the Padres. The move spruces up their offense while not sacrificing very much on defense. Hudson can sometimes lose his mind on the bases and is plagued by inconsistency. But he should be more dynamic for the Padres than what they had in 2010.