There are reports circulating around the rumor mill that seem to suggest that the A’s are interested in free-agent outfielder Ryan Ludwick. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com recently tweeted that at least four teams are interested in Ludwick.
The A’s recently re-signed their own free-agent OF Coco Crisp earlier this month, but general manager Billy Beane is reportedly interested in exploring the free agent market for outfield help. There’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting a little extra help, right?
Oakland’s new-look outfield corp currently includes Crisp, Michael Taylor, and Josh Reddick. Adding a veteran player like Ludwick could help add a little depth in an area most regard as being razor thin for Oakland.
Ludwick, 33, was originally drafted by the A’s during the second-round of the 1999 amateur draft, but was traded to Texas in 2002. Over his career, Ludwick has made stops in Texas, Cleveland, St. Louis, San Diego, and Pittsburg.
Last season, Ludwick split time between San Diego and Pittsburgh. He finished the season with a .237/.310/.363 slash line. He also tallied 13 home runs and 75 RBIs over 490 at-bats in ’11.
Ludwick does have some power, but his stats haven’t been the same since being traded from St. Louis back in 2010. And at 33, Ludwick isn’t exactly getting any younger. He’d be a nice veteran presence to have in the young clubhouse, but I’d be hard-pressed to say he’ll post the same type of numbers he did back in ’08 with St. Louis (especially in Oakland).
The A’s are rebuilding, so I’m not entirely sure why the team would be willing to explore the free-agent market for one-year rent-a-players. Personally, I’m more interested in seeing what guys like Taylor and Reddick can do over the course of a season.