Cincinnati picking up a $10 million option on Johnny Cueto for next season was a no-brainer decision and at the opposite end of the spectrum so are declining 2015 options on Ryan Ludwick and Jack Hannahan.
Ludwick gets a $4.5 million buyout instead of a $9 million option and Hannahan gets a $2 million buyout instead of a $4 million option, both of which are very pricey buyout figures.
Ludwick had a great first season with the Reds in 2012, hitting .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS in 125 games on a cheap one-year contract, but then they signed him to a $15 million extension and he went on to hit just .243 with 11 homers and a .666 OPS in 150 games over the next two seasons.
Hannahan somehow talked the Reds into giving him a two-year contract after looking like little more than a decent bench player and then injuries wiped away even that modest value.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.