Non-Tender Candidate: Ryan Ludwick

About a month ago, Padres GM Jed Hoyer appeared on XX-1090 Sports Radio with Darren Smith, and one of the topics was outfielder Ryan Ludwick.  Ludwick is eligible for arbitration for the last time this winter, and he'll get a raise on this year's $5.45MM salary.  Though Ludwick struggled mightily after coming to the Padres in a deadline deal, Hoyer's comments on the radio show strongly implied the outfielder will be tendered a contract:

I think he came over here and probably put too much pressure on himself to try to protect Adrian and hit home runs and he struggled, but a lot of people can struggle over a two-month period and we still love the power, the corner outfield power and I think one thing that we'll probably talk about at some point is moving him to left here. I think Will [Venable] is a great right fielder defensively and that might be a better fit, but otherwise we’re excited to have him back and he's a guy that we think will have a lot of home runs for us. I think he'll fit in better for us over the course of a full season than he did and I think he'll put less pressure on himself.

Those comments indicate Hoyer has Ludwick in his plans for 2011, but should he?  Ludwick is likely to be paid $6.5-7MM next year.  Coming off a .251/.325/.418 season, he might make half that as a free agent if he's non-tendered.  It may be difficult to convince a slugger to sign in San Diego, but not to the point where they must be paid double.

In Ludwick's defense, he did slug .484 with the Cardinals this year.  Only a dozen free agents had a higher slugging percentage in 2010.  Ludwick also has a ridiculous 2008 season on his resume -  a 37 home run campaign.  If the Padres let him go, what's the backup plan in left field?  Free agents like Pat Burrell and Brad Hawpe aren't much better, while Adam Dunn and even Magglio Ordonez may be expensive.  Trade options could include Josh Willingham, Luke Scott, Carlos Quentin, and Kosuke Fukudome.

Your turn: will Ludwick be tendered a contract?  Click here to make your prediction and here to see the results.

36 Responses to Non-Tender Candidate: Ryan Ludwick Leave a Reply

  1. timmytwoshoezzz 5 years ago

    This is pretty easy. The Padres has two possible possible choices.
    1) Go for the division one more time. Tender Ludwick, keep A-Gon, and make another run at a division crown. It’s not like they were far away last season. Or…
    2) trade A-Gon, non-tender Ludwick, take the savings and spend in the draft and the international market, build for the future.

    • I would say that even if they trade Gonzalez they should tender Ludwick…if his numbers come up he is a solid trade target in July. If they move Gonzalez they will have plenty of money to spend on the draft and inter. FA’s

  2. drumzalicious 5 years ago

    If they non tender him he better be in a Braves uniform

    • I’d love to have him in a Braves uniform, and we’ve had interest in the past. I’d love that line he was putting up pre-trade in LF.

    • inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

      Or even if he’s tendered, would the Pads trade him to the Braves?

      • mrsjohnmiltonrocks 5 years ago

        ^this. I would not send him on his way for nothing.

  3. If the Padres non-tender Ludwick I hope the Cards would jump on that! Here’s one possible scenario…

    Sign Ludwick
    Trade Miller and Ryan for Jose Reyes
    Lineup as follows…


    Much better lineup than last year’s

    • And a lot more expensive.

      Would love to see it, but it will never happen

    • riotmute 5 years ago

      Trade the gold glove caliber shortstop, keeps the underperforming Schumaker. That’s not a better lineup

      • Maybe not defensively but still a better lineup in terms of offense.

        • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

          In the post-‘roids era, GMs are focusing more on defense than before. Improving an offense at the expense of defense is not going to fly. Offense is sexy, but ultimately pitching and defense win championships. The Giants certainly did not have a formidable offense.

          • So are you saying that while Reyes’ defense isn’t as good as Ryan’s it’s still not championship worthy?

            I’m not disagreeing with you by any means. I’m just saying that a move like that would boost the offense while still holding defense pretty steady. There’s no reason why you can’t have your cake and eat it too.

          • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

            Not at all. Reyes is a good defender. And with the front office moves the Mets are making, they could be back to being champs quickly. Loved the Alderson hire. BTW – Please don’t hire Oquendo away from us! ;)In the Cards’ case, they have to focus on re-signing Pujols. That’s gonna take a LOT of dough. Reyes’ pricey contract would also make a Pujols re-sign problematic.

          • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

            BTW – I whole-heartedly agree with you that STL will explore improving its MI via trade rather than Free Agency. I just hope it doesn’t work out as poorly as the Khalil Greene deal.

    • They’ll be sure to resign Pujols with that payroll!

    • dc21892 5 years ago

      Seems too unlikely.

      • It’s unlikely but possible. If you’re going to find a player in free agency or in the trade market to play either short or 2nd I’ll take Reyes. It’s either that or trade for Uggla but I like having Reyes so he can hit lead-off which is where he’s more comftorable.

    • timmytwoshoezzz 5 years ago

      trade an all glove, no hit shortstop and a LF reliever who’s a free agent after the ’11 season for one of the most dynamic SS in the game today? Pass some of that Missouri stuff you’re smokin’, it has to be good

      • He might talking about Shelby Miller. I also want to point out that as long LaRussa is manager the pitcher will bat 8th.

      • I thought it was pretty obvious but yes, I was referring to Shelby Miller

        Also, if Mo can make significant upgrades to the offense like he’s talking about I don’t picture LaRussa batting the pitcher 8th anymore. For some odd reason he likes to do that when he thinks our offense is going to struggle in the game.

        • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

          Shelby Miller + Brendan “Boog” Ryan = No way in the world. Shelby has superstar potential and Ryan’s D-skills are off the charts. To me, Boog is much like Molina – such a great defender, you’ll take what you can get out of his bat. If I’m Mo, I’m not trading both for an older, much more expensive player who’s already shown injury issues at the second-most physically-demanding position on the baseball diamond.

      • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

        Still trying to figure out what a “LF reliever” is… You mean like Lohse? He played LF for a few innings last year. 😉

        • timmytwoshoezzz 5 years ago

          the F is close to the H on the keyboard. LH reliever better?

    • It would be cool if the Cards got Ludwick back… He might be a little bitter though.

      • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

        Don’t think he’d be bitter at all. He’s still close with a lot of his old STL teammates (e.g., Carp). They were pretty bummed when he was dealt.

    • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

      Miller + Ryan for Reyes = No, thanks. Reyes is an exciting player, but too expensive and not durable enough for that to make sense. And as riotmute points out: That doesn’t solve STL’s 2nd base woes.

      I would love to see Ludwick back in STL via non-tender. Don’t see it happening, tho. I think the Pads realize they have a clutch power-hitter and great teammate who just happened to have a couple crummy months.

    • Ferrariman 5 years ago

      your talking about trevor miller right? because i wouldn’t trade Shelby Miller straight up for Reyes.

  4. cubs223425 5 years ago

    The Cubs should try to send about $5 million of Fukudome’s money there, if they let Ludwick go. Ask for a C-level prospect and a throw-in, maybe.

  5. “we’re excited to have him back and he’s a guy that we think will have a lot of home runs for us”
    Hmm, wonder why he felt pressured to hit home runs? Hitting home runs at PETCO is a chore for even the best power hitters, so why put pressure for him to “hit home runs”? Luddy is a solid bat, and be happy when he gives you doubles in the gap. Quit worrying about him hitting home runs. St. Louis fans would gladly have him back if he does get non-tendered. Plus, I’d hate to see him move from RF, as I loved watching him defend the position and enjoyed the cannon for an arm in RF.

    • mattevilspawn 5 years ago

      +1 on his RF skill, Donald. I watched most STL games leading up to his departure. He was turning in some real gems in 2010, both with the glove and his arm. After he left, we had to endure watching an old guy frequently fumbling (Winn) and a couple rookies who just looked lost at times (Jay and Craig) take over his spot in RF. All during a pennant chase. Not fun.

  6. bobbybaseball 5 years ago

    I hate to nitpick here Tim, but is it difficult to set it up such that you can view the results of the polls without having to vote, go out and click on another link? I have trouble loading your pag as it is sometimes. I know that polls at, for ex., it’s done that way. Just asking.

    • Use a FireFox plugin called Adblock Plus to block all the ads on the site and it loads fast. No more bogging down your computer.

      • bobbybaseball 5 years ago

        Thanks, I appreciate the tip. But how did you know I use Firefox?

  7. pb111 5 years ago


  8. Ferrariman 5 years ago

    it wasn’t mentioned but i’d like to point out Ludwick also plays terrific defense in right and left and is capable playing center in a pinch.

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