Ludwick declines option
As expected, outfielder Ryan Ludwick declined his $5 million mutual option for 2013 with the Reds and became a free agent on Wednesday. For the mutual option to have kicked in, both the club and player had to exercise. (Added info: I neglected to mention that the buyout is worth $500,000)
Ludwick signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal with the Reds in January and became a relative bargain with a bounceback year. He batted .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers and 80 RBIs. He obviously wants to see if he can parlay this year into a multi-year contract at market value.
Therein lies the rub for the Reds. Ludwick is 34 and paying market value for someone of that age for multiple years could be tough on the budget. Both sides have said in the waning days of the season that they wanted Ludwick to remain in Cincinnati. He’s told me before how much he likes the city and the team, but as always with free agents…we’ll have to wait and see how much weight that carries as offers come in.
UPDATE: I spoke with GM Walt Jocketty about Ludwick and have a full version on MLB.com. Read it by clicking here. Jocketty has spoken to Ludwick’s agent as well as the agents for Ryan Madson, Dioner Navarro and Jonathan Broxton. All four players are interested in returning.
“I don’t know if we’ll get to sign all of them,” Jocketty said.