Originally Posted by M2
This year he may be due to debound.
I don't worry about it so much because I consider Ludwick a value-added player rather than an essential. If he can deliver something like last season, then the Reds have a pretty scary lineup. If he can't then Heisey and Paul can cover for him in the short-term and there's still plenty of quality bats to handle the middle lineup duties on this team.
If the team can cover for the loss of Votto for much of last season, it can handle Ludwick not earning his contract.
If the bar is simply "better than Heisey/Paul", than I'm not worried about Ludwick at all. I know that's not the point you were trying to make, but I think even if Ludwick declines a bit, it's not a horrible mistake to bring him back.
The Reds have no one on the farm to play LF, and really no one other than Ludwick in the current organization. Resigning Ludwick makes a lot more sense than the other FA OFers that were available. It buys the Reds some time to come up with a longterm solution.
Anyhow, the price for bringing Ludwick back was giving him a 2 year deal. I think that's reasonable. It sure would've sucked to have a gaping hole in LF this year because we are worried about 2014. It's time to win now. Man, it feels great to say that
I doubt Ludwick will have as strong of a 2nd half as he did last season (he was just amazing then), but I hope he gets off to a better start in the beginning of the season. Honestly, Frasier is another guy we have to worry about regressing this year, IMO. Maybe even Cozart. Hopefully not, but that's just the nature of the game.