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01/31/10 8:20 PM EST

Nats players would welcome Hudson

Third baseman Zimmerman: O-Dog is a 'great team guy'

WASHINGTON -- Several players on the Nationals -- pitcher Jason Marquis, catcher Ivan Rodriguez and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman -- reiterated Sunday how much they want free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson on the team.

They all feel that Hudson will be a difference-maker on offense and in the field. In fact, Zimmerman went so far to say that acquiring Hudson would be icing on the cake. Zimmerman believes that he and Adam Dunn would drive in a lot of runs if Hudson, coupled with outfielder Nyjer Morgan, were at the top of the lineup.

"Obviously, he would be great defensively. You can put him in the lineup anywhere," Zimmerman said. "He is a great person and a great teammate -- a great team guy. I think he would help some of the younger guys and help all of us come together. He wins. He comes from places where he wins -- he knows. It's not a secret that we want him here."

Rodriguez never played with Hudson, but Rodriguez believes good things will happen if Hudson joins the Nationals.

"He [would] help us a lot," Rodriguez said. "He [would] help [manager] Jim Riggleman, too. Having Orlando [would] be great. He is a very popular guy. He is a switch-hitter. He would help us.

Marquis likes the energy that Hudson brings on and off the field.

"He just brings lot of energy to the clubhouse and to the game. There is no lack of effort," Marquis said.

With all this praise that Hudson is getting, what is preventing the Nationals from signing him? Money. Rumors have circulated that said Hudson is willing to bring his price down from the $9 million that he is asking for, but general manager Mike Rizzo said that was news to him. In fact, Rizzo and Hudson's representatives haven't talked in the past couple of days.

"There isn't anything different going on," Rizzo said.

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