Reds Notes: Ludwick, Baker, Speier

The Reds clinched a postseason spot with today's 5-3 victory over the Cubs.  Cincinnati will return to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and the team's magic number to clinch the NL Central stands at just two.  Here's the latest from the Queen City…

  • "I've told numerous people I like it here," Ryan Ludwick told's Mark Sheldon.  "I'm definitely going to do everything in my ability on my side to stay here. I know it's a business and budgets become factors in an organization. I'm really hoping everything works out."  Ludwick signed a one-year, $2.5MM deal with the Reds in January that contains a $5MM mutual option for 2013, with a $500K buyout.  The outfielder has enjoyed a big comeback season, hitting .276/.349/.532 with 26 homers in 460 plate appearances entering today's action, so it's a pretty good bet that the Reds will exercise their end of Ludwick's option.
  • Dusty Baker will be at Great American Ballpark on Friday for the Reds' game with the Dodgers, though it isn't clear if Baker will resume his duties as manager, GM Walt Jocketty told media (including Sheldon).  Baker is in hospital in Chicago undergoing tests for an irregular heartbeat, and Jocketty said his manager was feeling good when he visited him on Thursday morning. 
  • Bench coach Chris Speier has been managing the Reds in Baker's absence and Speier told reporters (including Sheldon) that he hopes to at least receive an interview for a managerial opening this winter.  "I think everybody in baseball understands that I would love to have the opportunity to at least go through the interview process and be part of that," Speier said.  "That's never been a secret. I don't put myself out there. People know what I've done and what I am capable of doing. The reputation that I hopefully have around is one that if it's warranted for an opportunity, that I will get that."

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