Ryan Ludwick turned down his half of a $5 million mutual option to become a free agent, but John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the 34-year-old outfielder has been talking to the Reds about re-signing.
Ludwick’s agent told Fay that they’re looking for “a multi-year deal” and added that he “has offers from other clubs” if Cincinnati isn’t willing to go make that sort of commitment to a mid-30s outfielder who was pretty bad in 2011 and mediocre in both 2009 and 2010.
This year he bounced back in a big way, hitting .275 with 26 homers in 125 games for an .877 OPS that was Ludwick’s highest since 2008.
Earlier this week at the Winter Meetings, Scott Boras said that he and the Washington Nationals had had preliminary discussions about a contract extension for Bryce Harper. Harper, of course, can become a free agent following the 2018 season and is widely expected to command the largest contract in baseball history.
While that may have given some Nationals fans hope that no other team would get the chance to bid on him, the Nationals are of the view that they have no shot to sign Harper before he at least tests the free agent market. From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale:
A lot of this seems like mutual posturing, doesn’t it? Boras trying to make it appear as though the he and Harper are giving the Nats a fair hearing and the Nats trying to make it appear as though, no matter what they do, Harper is going to hit the market. I tend to believe, personally, that Boras and Harper are hellbent on testing the market, but it’s possible that there is some number that the Nats can offer to head that off, right? Maybe?
Either way: big year ahead for Harper.