Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ryan Ludwick Joins The Bucs

Just beating the timetable, the Bucs announced at 3:55 PM that they had a deal with San Diego: OF Ryan Ludwick for a PTBNL. Jan Langosch of tweets that the Padres have a list of three minor league players to select from to complete the deal. None are expected to be top prospects. The Bucs haven't announced who's leaving the 25 man roster yet; that has to be done tonight or tomorrow.

Ludwick, 33, was hitting .238 with 18 doubles, 11 home runs and 64 RBI for the Padres. He's considered a reliable glove (4.1 UZR/150 and plays LF in spacious PETCO Park) and has some gap-to-gap pop in his bat. Ludwick does sport a reverse split through out his career, though - .274 v righties and .236 v. lefties.

He played for Texas in 2002, Cleveland (2003-05) and St. Louis (2007- 2010) before being traded to San Diego last year on July 31st. In 752 career games, Ludwick has compiled a line of .262/115/439. He was an All-Star in 2008.

The Pirates will pick up the remainder of the $6.775 million salary due Ludwick this season, about $2.2M. He'll be a free agent at the end of the year. That may have been the key to the deal being completed. Earlier in the day, it was reported by several sources that the Indians had him all but wrapped up.

The big question isn't where he fits in now, but what the Buc plans are for him when Alex Presley and Jose Tabata return from the DL later in August. If they like what they see, the Pirates may try to sign him for 2012 given the dearth of MLB-ready RH outfielders in the organization.

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