Ludwick excited to join Pirates for playoff run
Veteran outfielder acquired from Padres for player to be named
PHILADELPHIA -- Having fallen short in their attempts to land a more prolific corner outfielder, the Pirates made a deal to acquire Ryan Ludwick from the Padres just before Sunday's 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The Padres will receive a player to be named later or cash considerations to complete the deal. Padres general manager Jed Hoyer has a list of three Minor League players to consider.
"I'm going to another team that has a chance to make the playoffs," Ludwick said. "I'm going back to the NL Central, a division I'm familiar with and a ballpark where I've done pretty well."
In 27 games at PNC Park, Ludwick has hit .267 with six doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs.
While Ludwick's numbers this season haven't been overwhelming, the Bucs are convinced that getting him out of spacious PETCO Park will help boost his production. In 101 games, Ludwick hit .238 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs.
That RBI total would rank Ludwick tops on the Pirates' team.
"I'm excited to join the excitement of the city," said Ludwick, who was scheduled to fly from San Diego to Pittsburgh on Monday morning. "I don't want to cause too much of a stir. I just want to do what I can to help the team any way possible." >p> "As we look at the numbers behind the numbers, there is every indication in the world that Ryan has a great chance to be very solid for us for these two months," Pittsburgh general manager Neal Huntington said. "Sometimes the surface numbers can be a little misleading. In our minds, in Ryan Ludwick's case, they are very misleading."
Neither Hurdle, nor Huntington, would describe Ludwick's immediate role with the club, though with Jose Tabata and Alex Presley on the disabled list, it's expected that Ludwick, 33, will play regularly. How he fares while those two outfielders are out could dictate the playing time Ludwick gets upon their returns.
This marks the second straight season that Ludwick has been a part of a July 31 trade. He was sent from the Cardinals to the Padres last year, but hit only .211 in 59 games with San Diego to end the season.
He had batted .281 in 77 games with St. Louis before being dealt.
"He can drive the ball to right-center, and I think that works well in our park," said Kevin Correia, who was a teammate of Ludwick's in San Diego last season. "If you're going to get a right-handed hitter, it's good to get a guy that can go gap-to-gap like he can. He's just a professional hitter. He's going to give you a tough at-bat. We could use some of that."
Like the Lee deal, the Pirates do not appear to be giving up too much in return for Ludwick. Though the Bucs could lose a Minor League player to complete the trade, it will not be a top prospect.
Rather, the sacrifice comes with the payroll. The Pirates will be picking up all of the remaining $6.775 million salary due Ludwick this season. Ludwick will be a free agent at the end of the year.
"That's a professional player," said manager Clint Hurdle, who managed Ludwick in the 2008 All-Star Game. "He plays hard. He's a pro. He's been able to be a run producer."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.