The Cincinnati Reds might not yet be settled on a center fielder, but Friday afternoon they came to an agreement to sign free agent left fielder Ryan Ludwick, this according to Jon Heyman. Terms of the deal are not yet known, but the Reds had offered a contract of two years and $13-14 million.
Ludwick joined the Reds on a one-year deal that included a mutual option for 2013. After posting 26 home runs and 80 RBI for Dusty Baker‘s club in 2012. The .275/.346/.531 line was his best since 2008.
Ludwick was an extremely late boomer and didn’t become a full-time major leaguer until his age-28 season when he burst onto the scene in St. Louis. After a 37-home run campaign in 2009, Ludwick fell off and soon was bounced around to the Padres and Pirates, struggling mightily with both clubs. If not for Walt Jocketty’s history with Ludwick in St. Louis, the slugger might have had to settle for a minor league contract last Winter.
Instead, he stepped in and wound up winning an everyday job for the Reds and spent much of the season’s second half as their cleanup hitter. Ludwick had drawn interest as well from the New York Mets before re-upping in the Queen City. Retaining Ludwick was a top priority for the Reds and Jocketty coming into the off-season.