Tag: Ryan Ludwick

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton heads back where he belongs


With the Angels so terribly eager to dump him, Friday’s trade couldn’t have possibly worked out much better for Josh Hamilton.

Hamilton, ostracized by Angels management after his drug relapse, will return to a setting that suits him far better, even if his time in Arlington didn’t end on a high note. While there is lingering bitterness from part of the fan base, some of it deserved after negative comments that Hamilton made, there’s nothing so bad it can’t be put into the past. Obviously, Hamilton is embracing it, since he’s giving up money to make the trade happen. Hamilton was, after all, a bonafide superstar in Texas, winning MVP honors in 2010 and going to All-Star Games in each of his five seasons with the club. He hit 43 homers and drove in 128 runs in his final season there in 2012.

Just getting back into a ballpark that favors left-handed power hitters should do wonders for Hamilton. His decline in Anaheim wasn’t all about the tough hitting environment there, but it did exacerbate his problems. In 2014, all 10 of Hamilton’s homers came in road games. He hit .249/.314/.302 at home and .278/.347/.527 on the road. Basically, he was still a star while playing outside of Southern California.

It’s too much to ask Hamilton to match those road numbers after he returns from shoulder surgery this year, especially with everything else he’s dealing with off the field, including a divorce, but this is the best-case scenario for him from an on-field standpoint. And it’s a nice gamble for the Rangers, since they’ll be paying a fraction of the $25 million per year he’s owed through 2017. Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan says they’ll be on the hook for a mere $15 million total.

The Rangers will have to wait for Hamilton to finish rehabbing his shoulder, but once healthy, he’ll fill their massive void in left field. They opened the spring with Ryan Rua, Jake Smolinski, Michael Choice, Carlos Peguero and veterans Ryan Ludwick and Nate Schierholtz competing for the job, eventually settling on Rua and Smolinski. Rua, though, is going to miss at least a month with an ankle injury, and he wasn’t likely to settle in as a quality regular anyway.



Rangers release Ryan Ludwick

Ryan Ludwick

John Blake, Rangers Vice President of Communications, announced on Twitter that the team has released outfielder Ryan Ludwick from his minor league contract. Ludwick was informed on Thursday that he would not make the Rangers’ Opening Day roster.

The Rangers signed Ludwick to a minor league deal in early February. Ludwick would have earned $1.75 million if he had made the roster. He hit just .200 in 30 Cactus League at-bats for the Rangers, registering only one home run and three RBI with a 9/0 K/BB ratio. Ludwick, 36, posted below-average numbers in each of the last two seasons with the Reds.

Rangers tell Ryan Ludwick he will not make the team

ludwick getty

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels revealed that veteran outfielder Ryan Ludwick will not make the Opening Day roster, saying:

All-world guy. I hope he catches a big league job with another team. I think he can help somebody. As we look at it today, we thought other options in camp fit the roster better.

Ludwick signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers in early February and it would have paid $1.75 million if he made the team at age 36.

Ludwick was an All-Star in 2008 and had a big season for the Reds as recently as 2012, but he’s failed to crack a .700 OPS in each of the past two seasons and struggled in camp. If he wants to continue playing he may have to go prove he’s still got something left in the tank at Triple-A.