The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly signing free agent outfielder Ryan Ludwick to a one-year contract with a 2013 option.
The Cincinnati Reds are going for it. They traded for Mat Latos. They signed Ryan Madson. They traded for Sean Marshall. Their division is losing Albert Pujols and, presumably, Prince Fielder. The Reds built up a strong roster. It was a strong roster with one potential weakness: left field. Until today, it looked like the Reds were going to give left field to Chris Heisey.
I say "until today" because of this, from Ken Rosenthal:
Source: Ryan Ludwick to #Reds.
Rosenthal has good sources. He goes on to say that Ludwick is signing a one-year contract with a 2013 mutual option. Jon Heyman says the contract is worth a $2.5 million base.
In truth, Chris Heisey is probably still going to play a fair amount. Heisey is a 27-year-old righty with a 108 OPS+. Ludwick is a 33-year-old righty with a 100 OPS+ the last three seasons. We could be looking at a job share situation, although not a platoon since they aren't of opposite handedness. Think of Ludwick as doubling the odds that left field works out. Before, the Reds were depending on Heisey. Now they just need one of Heisey and Ludwick to be productive.
For the Reds, this isn't a real sexy move. But it does improve them a little bit, and there's nothing wrong with an improvement for a team in the Reds' situation.