MLB Trade Deadline: Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Ryan Ludwick To Bolster Lineup

Michael DeSantisSenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 6: Ryan Ludwick #47 of the San Diego Padres hits a double driving in two runs against the San Francisco Giants in the first inning during an MLB baseball game at AT&T Park July 6, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Looking to have a winning season for the first time since 1992, the Pirates acquired Ryan Ludwick from the San Diego Padres right before the 4 p.m. trade deadline.

So far this season, Ludwick is batting only .238 with 11 home runs and 62 RBI. Part of this is because of the stadium he played in with the Padres, Petco Park, which not a hitter-friendly ballpark. Ludwick has had success at PNC Park, the Pirates' home, however. At PNC Park, Ludwick is .267 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 27 games.

Ludwick, 33, was classified as a "professional player" by Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, according to MLB.com. The skipper also mentioned that, "He plays hard. He's a pro. He's been able to be a run producer."

The Pirates traded a minor leaguer, but not a top prospect in order to bring Ludwick into Pittsburgh. That's a very good deal in my opinion, as the Pirates added a good outfielder, and brought more depth to their lineup.

The Pirates have a 54-52 record and are 4.5 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers. The deal to acquire Ludwick could help them gain some ground and could help the Pirates catch the Brewers. The Pirates believe they can make a run at the playoffs with Ludwick's help.

A few reasons I believe Ludwick can get the team into the postseason are that the Pirates are a young, hungry team that wants to win. Ludwick will provide some veteran leadership.

Ludwick now leads the team with his 62 RBI and will produce even more now that he's playing in a more hitter-friendly ballpark, and the Pirates are a much better team than the Padres. That means runners will get on base for Ludwick to drive in.

With their new outfielder, the Pirates have a better chance than ever to make the postseason for the first time in about two decades.