Cincinnati Reds left fielder Ryan Ludwick (48) celebrates with third base coach Mark Berry (41) after a solo home run in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants in game five of the 2012 NLDS at Great American Ball Park. Photo Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Reds Sign Free Agent Ludwick to a Two Year Contract

The Cincinnati Reds and General Manager Walt Jocketty have sealed the deal with left field free agent Ryan Ludwick and he will return to the Reds for two more years in the sun.  Late yesterday afternoon Enquirer Reds beat writer John Fay indicated the two sides appeared to be nearly finished with negotiations and this morning at 10 am Jon Heyman reported via Twitter that the deal was done.

 John Fay indicates there is a mutual option for 2015 but mentions no terms.

So where does this leave Cincinnati?  Here is my “work in progress” lineup card.

  • Batting Leadoff – Centerfielder…?  Brandon Phillips, Drew Stubbs (really?), Billy Hamilton (maybe too early), Player To Be Named Later – Most Likely
  • Batting 2nd – Brandon Phillips – This is where I want him to set the table for the RBI guys
  • Batting 3rd – Joey Votto is Vottomatic
  • Batting 4th – Ryan Ludwick.

  • Batting 5th – Jay Bruce
  • Batting 6th – Todd Frazier
  • Batting 7th – Zack Cozart (relieve the pressure and see if he can shine offensively)
  • Batting 8th – Ryan Hanigan/Devin Mesoraco (Let’s hope Mes can return to his doubles attack from his AAA days.)

This is the lineup I would run out on an everyday basis.  If Scott Rolen returns he becomes interchangeable with Frazier. So the drama surrounds the leadoff position.  One viable solution could be trading for a one year leadoff man to give Hamilton time to be ready for the job he seems poised to fill.

For now I am thrilled to welcome back Ryan Ludwick for another season of baseball.  Well done Walt!

Follow me on Twitter @JohnHeitz

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  • beeker

    I agree that it is a good thing to get Ludwick back. He should be a solid clean up man for two years, so it’s a good move.

    I don’t think that they are going to give up on Stubbs yet, though. If a reasonable option becomes available, I could see Walt pulling the trigger to put pressure on Stubbs. But my guess is that the job is Stubbs’ to lose… Unless he plays himself out of the job.

    • John Heitz

      Well Beeker, sorry I missed seeing the comment but I guess it is now kind of a moot point. I really did anticipate that a deal was on the horizon. I think Stubbs still can be a good major league player but he needed a wake up call to force him to become the disciplined hitter he must become in order to succeed. I hope for his sake this is it.