According to John Paul Morosi of FoxSports.com, the Phillies, along with the Mariners and Reds, have inquired about the services of 32-year-old outfielder Ryan Ludwick. The Padres slugger has had a down year while calling Petco Park is home, putting up a triple-slash line of .255/.322/.393 with nine home runs in 299 plate appearances.
It was just three years ago that Ludwick put up monster numbers with the St. Louis Cardinals, mashing 37 home runs and knocking in 113. That year looks like the exception to the rule, as he managed just 22 homers in 2009 and only 17 in 2010.
Regardless of his dwindling power numbers, Ludwick is a cheaper alternative to some of the other names being linked to the Phillies. He’s owed roughly $2.2 million for the remainder of 2010. Ludwick would be brought in to hit lefties; he’s batting .271 against them this year in only 65 plate appearances.
Does Ludwick present an upgrade over Raul Ibanez? He’s right-handed, so that’s a start, and has a home run-hitting pedigree, at least within the past two seasons. In the right lineup, he could be of assistance. San Diego is a black hole for offensive players, not only due to the spacious stadium, but because the players they have are below-average.
Earlier this week, myself and Mike Gill from 97.3 ESPN FM in South Jersey discussed some names that the Phillies should/could take a look at. Here is our Monday “Daily Debate” on some bats that could possibly be available, and maybe even look god in red pinstripes.
Ruben Amaro also senses that his bullpen may need some help, which is why he has reportedly asked about Padres closer Heath Bell, as well as set-up man Chad Qualls. Hard to see them making a play for either, but you can’t fault Amaro for asking. While the Phillies bullpen has been a bright spot, you can never have too many arms.
Qualls has a $6 million team option in 2012 with a $1.5 million buyout. If the Phillies were to bring him in, at the minimum he would represent a $2.25 million stopgap with the salary he is owed for this season.
Bell is owed roughly $3.75 million for the remainder of this season and then he can become a free agent. It would be interesting to see Bell to Philly – would he close or set up for Ryan Madson? Either way, the fans would dig him, no doubt about it.
Either way, Ruben Amaro is working the phones early this year. Prepare for a juicy month and a half.