FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal mentioned that a number of teams have called the San Diego Padres to check on the availability of OF Ryan Ludwick. The Padres are in last place and Ludwick is in the final year of his contract, so it’s more than likely he will be dealt before July 31st.
If Ludwick does get traded at the deadline, then it will be deja vu all over again. Ludwick was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Padres at last season’s trade deadline.
If Ludwick is to be traded, let’s take a look at the pros, cons, and teams who could be potentially interested in the UNLV product.
Pros: If you had to guess who has been worth more wins since 2008 between Johnny Damon, Torii Hunter, Jason Bay, Adam Dunn, Bobby Abreu, Andre Ethier, or Ludwick, who would you guess? My guess would have been Ethier and I would have been wrong.
It’s Ludwick who has been worth more wins during that time than any of the other more notable players. Since 2008, Ludwick has been worth 11.2 wins for the Cardinals and Padres. During those years, Ludwick has averaged a .270/.341/.474 slash line with 21 big flies a season.
This season, Ludwick has been hurt playing his home games in Petco Park. Overall on the season, Ludwick is batting .255/.322/.393 with nine HR’s, but is only batting .232/.321/.370 at home. Like other hitters before him, Ludwick probably can’t wait to leave Petco.
His road split resembles his overall slash line from the past four seasons. Ludwick is hitting .279/.324/.419 away from Petco. One has to think that if he was playing his home games in say Citizens Bank Ballpark, he would produce quite nicely.
Defensively, Ludwick is good, but nothing special. He has a 12.6 UZR in over 3,000 career innings in right and a 6.9 UZR in over 1800 innings in left.
Ludwick’s contract shouldn’t prohibit teams from perusing him. He’s making $6.75 million this season, so it’s not like teams are taking on Alfonso Soriano‘s albatross.
Cons: Did you know Ludwick is 32-years-old? It’s easy to forget that Ludwick was a ham n’ egger with the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians for a number of years. Ludwick is so old, he was drafted when I graduated college.
At 32, you are what you are as a professional athlete. Ludwick isn’t spectacular and unless he gets on a monumental hot streak, he won’t be a difference maker.
In an era where teams are holding on to their prospects like every guy at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas holds on to their Affliction t-shirts, is there going to be a team that gives up top prospects for an unspectacular player who is just a rental? Probably not.
Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of Ludwick, let’s take a look at the teams who might be interested in the former 2nd round pick…
Philadelphia Phillies: Domonic Brown is hitting .213 this season with a .286 OBP and a .302 wOBA. He appears to be caught between batting stances while still battling some of the effects of his wrist injury in spring training. The Phillies could acquire Ludwick and move him back to right.
Cincinnati Reds: I am a big Chris Heisey fan and think he should be given the chance to play everyday. The Reds organization apparently doesn’t feel that way. Ludwick would look nice between Joey Votto and Jay Bruce in the Reds’ lineup.
Seattle Mariners: Mariner outfielders have a combined -1.7 WAR and .278 wOBA in 2011. Yeah, they could use Ludwick in left or right.
Arizona Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks are in first place in the NL West and with Gerardo Parra posting a .614 OPS against left-handed pitching in 2011, the Diamondbacks could make a move to acquire Ludwick to face those tough lefties.
San Francisco Giants: Will Brandon Belt be able to take over in right? Even if he does, the Giants could certainly use another bat and Ludwick would help.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers’ outfield is in a state of flux. Magglio Ordonez‘s ankles are hanging on by a thread and Andy Dirks isn’t the answer. Ludwick could play right or left for the Tigers and Brennan Boesch can play where ever Ludwick doesn’t.