Sources tell the Cincinnati Enquirer’s John Fay and FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal that Ryan Ludwick is still considering whether to take the Reds’ offer or sign for a bit more money elsewhere.
The Mets are one of the teams considering Ludwick, while the Reds are believed to be offering him a two-year deal worth $6 million-$7 million per year.
Ludwick hit .275/.346/.531 with 26 homers and 80 RBI in 422 at-bats for the Reds last season He also homered three times in the five-game NLDS loss to the Giants. In this market, those numbers would seem to be worth more in the neighborhood of $8 million-$10 million per year. However, Ludwick’s history of inconsistency, combined with the age and mediocre defense, appear to have cut into his market.
Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.
After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.
With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.