On Monday, the Padres completed a two-year deal worth $11.5 million for Hudson, 33, who is two-time All-Star and a four-time Gold Glove winner. He'll make $4 million in 2011 and $5.5 million in 2012.
Hudson's contract also calls for an $8 million mutual option for 2013 with a $2 million buyout.
"We're thrilled to get him here to San Diego," Padres general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Our focus at the beginning of the offseason was to really to strengthen ourselves up the middle."
That started with the November trade that landed center fielder Cameron Maybin. Now, with the additions of Bartlett and Hudson, Hoyer feels the Padres are considerably stronger up the middle than they were in 2010.
"I think with the addition of Cameron Maybin, Jason Bartlett and now Orlando we feel a ton better about our team up the middle," Hoyer said. "Orlando is a proven winner, a four-time Gold Glove winner and I think he's going to bring a ton of offense to our team, a ton of defense and a ton of energy."
Hudson hit .268 last season with six home runs and 37 RBIs for the Twins. Over nine seasons, Hudson is a .280 hitter with a .346 on-base percentage.
Hudson, an All-Star in 2007 and 2009, is certainly familiar with the National League. He played from 2006-09 with the D-backs and Dodgers.
The Padres hope he can provide a spark hitting toward the top of the lineup, which was an issue for the Padres in 2010.
A year ago, the Padres' leadoff hitters hit a combined .237 with an on-base percentage of .306. The No. 2 hitter in the order didn't fare much better, hitting .260 with a .316 on-base percentage.
The Padres ranked 28th in the Major Leagues in batting average in 2010 (.246).
"That's something we desperately need here and last year we didn't have at the top of our lineup," Hoyer said. "Orlando is a second baseman who gets on base and that's really our focus."
One of the Padres' biggest needs this offseason was addressing the middle-infield needs. Last week, they landed Bartlett and a player to be named in a deal that sent four players to the Rays.
The Padres used five second basemen in 2010. Veteran David Eckstein, a free agent who won't likely return in 2011, played 113 games at the position. Jerry Hairston, also a free agent, played 47 games at second base.