Ryan Ludwick turns down his mutual option with the Reds

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Jon Heyman says that Ryan Ludwick will turn down his part of the $5 million mutual option he was with the Reds for 2013.  The Reds, however, will still try to keep him.

A no-brainer for Ludwick, who put together a nice season — .275/.346/.531 with 26 home runs, 80 RBI — and is entering a winter in which a lot of teams have a lot more money to spend than they have for a long time.
Ludwick is on record, however, as not much liking the way he’s moved around in recent years — St. Louis to San Diego and then to Cincinnati — so it would not be at all shocking if he looked to stay where’s hes comfortable and hammer out something with the Reds.

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.