According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pittsburgh Pirates are still in the mix for San Diego Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick, as of last night. We heard yesterday from Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports that Cleveland and Pittsburgh were the two teams making up the field for Ludwick, with Cleveland being more likely. The Pirates added Derrek Lee last night, but still have a need for outfielders, especially with Alex Presley and Jose Tabata both dealing with injuries this year.
My preference would be Jason Kubel, although the Twins have said they don’t want to deal him. We also have heard that talks for Josh Willingham have fallen through, and never really took off. That leaves Ludwick as one of the few remaining outfielders who the Pirates have been connected to.
UPDATE 11:09 AM: Jon Heyman of SI adds that B.J. Upton is likely to stay put. That’s another outfielder off the list.
UPDATE 12:57 PM: Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports says that Cleveland is getting close to a deal for Ludwick, but that the deal isn’t complete yet.
UPDATE 2:28 PM: Jonathan Mayo hears that the Indians are balking at the asking price for Ludwick.
UPDATE 3:11 PM: Tim Brown reports that the Pirates are back in on Ludwick.
UPDATE 3:23 PM: Jon Paul Morosi reports that Ludwick to the Pirates is close.
UPDATE 3:33 PM: Some information on Ludwick:
-He’s a Type B free agent
-He’s making $6.775 M this year. If the Pirates assumed all of that, they would take on $2.23 M for the remainder of the year
-He’s got a 4.1 UZR/150 in the outfield, which is close to his career numbers
-He’s not hitting well this year, with a .238/.301/.373 line. The Petco factor enters in here, although it’s a concern that he’s got a .258/.300/.389 line on the road this year.
Overall I like him as a short term solution over Garrett Jones. His defense is much better, although his offense is a concern, especially since he’s 32, and only has one standout year (2008). When Alex Presley and Jose Tabata return, I wouldn’t start Ludwick, even with his salary, as I don’t think he upgrades either of the young outfielders. He’d be a nice option off the bench, mostly for his defense. The big bonus here would be the Type B status, which could land the Pirates a compensation pick.
UPDATE 3:55 PM: Done deal. Ludwick for a PTBNL, per Morosi.
UPDATE 3:58 PM: A lot of people asking on Twitter if the PTBNL is a 2010 draft pick. 2010 picks can’t be traded until a year after they sign. They can be included as players to be named later. The players who signed after July 31st last year: Nick Kingham, Brandon Cumpton, Ryan Hafner, Jared Lakind, Dan Grovatt, Drew Maggi, Stetson Allie, Jameson Taillon.
I can’t see Taillon, Allie, or Kingham included in this deal. I’d be surprised with Hafner too. No guarantee that this is a 2010 draft pick either.