Originally Posted by FlightRick
Head to Cincinnati, finally get the swing fixed up, and over the course of the season, he puts up .275/.345/.530 (.875 OPS), which looks strangely familiar. Ludwick just may have a bona fide justification for his fluctuations over time.
I don't have any foolish notions that Ludwick will ever be the hitter his was in June/July/August this past year, especially not at 33 or 34 or whatever. But I think it is perfectly realistic that he could put up another season or two of overall numbers in that neighborhood.
That said, I'd probably have reservations about any new deal that includes a guaranteed third year, or an annual average value much more than $7-8m. Age is not on Ludwick's side, and the way the Reds have been handing out the cash the past two off-seasons and the presumed payroll limitations, this could quickly turn into exactly the kind of mistake the Reds can't afford to make...
Aging and diminishing skills will likely come into play with this contract, but the question is what skill level is Ludwick starting at. As you pointed out, I think a strong case could be made that last year wasn't a fluke and we're looking at a current .850+ OPS bat. I'd go hard after a two year contract and see if he bites. Finding that production elsewhere is gonna be a real challenge IMO.