Report: Indians, Padres progressing on Ryan Ludwick talks

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The Indians remain in the market for offensive help after acquiring Kosuke Fukudome and they’re making progress on talks with the Padres regarding Ryan Ludwick, says ESPN.com’s Buster Olney.

It’d be Ludwick’s second stint in Cleveland, and the hope is that it’d go better than his first; unable to establish himself because of knee problems, he hit .247/.305/.467 with 13 homers in 227 at-bats for the Indians from 2004-06.

Ludwick has hit .238/.301/.372 for the Padres this season, but it does come with 62 RBI in 374 at-bats.  He’s been somewhat better outside of Petco Park, hitting .258/.300/.389 with six homers in 190 at-bats.

Olney tweeted that there’s a “good chance” a deal will be struck.  Ludwick is a free agent at season’s end and the Padres might not want to risk offering him arbitration anyway, so the return shouldn’t be too significant.

Scooter Gennett wins arbitration case against Reds

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The Reds lost their first arbitration case of the offseason, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Second baseman Scooter Gennett was awarded the $5.7 million salary figure he was seeking from the team, a $600,000 bump over the $5.1 million they countered with last month.

Gennett, 27, is coming off of a career-best performance in 2017. After getting claimed off of waivers by the Reds last March, he broke out with an impressive .295/.342/.531 batting line, 27 home runs and 2.4 fWAR in 497 plate appearances. By season’s end, he ranked among the top five most productive second basemen in the National League (and 12th overall). He’s currently set to remain under team control through 2019.

Gennett was only the second Reds player to go to an arbitration hearing this winter. Fellow infielder Eugenio Suarez was defeated in arbitration last week and stands to make just $3.75 million compared to the $4.2 million he filed for in January. All 22 arbitration cases have now been resolved. Twelve were decided in favor of the players.