Now that Ryan Ludwick has decided to decline his mutual $5 million contract option for 2013, the outfielder may be too expensive for the Cincinnati Reds to hang on to, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
The Reds will make a run to keep Ludwick. But as is the question with all contracts: For how long and for how much?
My guess is if Ludwick wants market value he’s going to be too expensive for the Reds.
After two disappointing years in San Diego and Pittsburgh, the 33-year-old Ludwick had a resurgent year in Cincinnati this season, hitting .275/.346/.531 with twenty-six home runs in one hundred twenty-five games. Fay writes that Ludwick's 2012 success could put on the market for similar contracts to those signed by Michael Cuddyer, Josh Willingham and Jason Kubel last season: multi-year contracts in the range of $7-$10 million a year.
Fay believes that even Kubel-type money -- $15 million over two years -- might be out of the Reds' price range because of pending raises to Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Johnny Cueto, not to mention likely arbitration raises for Mat Latos and Homer Bailey.