Ludwick avoids arbitration

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals and outfielder Ryan Ludwick avoided arbitration on Tuesday, agreeing to a one-year contract for the 2010 season. The deal will pay Ludwick $5.45 million. The club announced the deal on its official Twitter feed.

Unlike 2009, club and player didn’t even get to the point of exchanging arbitration figures. A year ago, Ludwick and team representatives actually traveled to Arizona, expecting to attend an arbitration hearing, before settling in the final hours before the scheduled session.

Ludwick, 31, saw his numbers dip in his second full season with the Cardinals, but still managed 97 RBIs. He hit .265 with a .329 on-base percentage and a .447 slugging percentage, 22 home runs, 20 doubles and 63 runs scored.

The right-handed hitter will likely bat fifth for the Cardinals in 2010 as the team’s starting right fielder. He made $3.7 million in 2009.

Second baseman Skip Schumaker is the only remaining Cardinals player eligible for arbitration. Schumaker said on Sunday that he is close to getting a deal done to avoid arbitration.


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Leave me a question if you have one, I love talking baseball!

Nice try, Jack, but M does an excellent job on THIS blog AND the stlcardinals site. And he can spelll analysis….(I’m kidding. I realize its a typo.) Are you M’s new sidekick? Welcome to the site. Look forward to reading your columns if you’re on the site.

DUDE, What’s up with not telling us about Anks heading to KC? Some random dude on Facebook told me. Sucks for Anks, but I hope Jimmy Ballgame comes back!

I just don’t know what to think about this team…
I would’ve thought the priorities for this team would be to solidify the bullpen especially, the closer. They still have a hole in the rotation. They’ve lost Thompson, Piniero, and possibly Smoltz. Sure, they picked up Penney, but I would’ve rather have seen Smoltz back on the team.

I think MO spent too much time to wait on Holliday when they had other needs to fulfill. They allowed DeRosa to sign with the Giants. IF they have budget problems now after signing Holliday what do you think they’re going to have with Pujols when he is up? Wainwright? Lohse? Of course, Pujols is going to take the the Dollar General price tag on himself just to stay in St. Louis and not break $20 mil/year. Ludwick has a poor year and gets a 50% raise, what’s the odds on Schumacher walking?

This is the first time in many years I just don’t have good vibes of St. Louis finishing in the top two of the division. This will probably be the last year of LaRussa as well as Duncan.

Please, someone, tell me where I’m wrong here. Thank you.

Where are you wrong? Several places. Thompson hardly qualifies as a “loss;” he was an utterly replaceable reliever, and replacements are already in place (and cheaper). Penny has a much greater chance of filling the rotation hole than a pitcher who’s nearly as old as I am. “Losing” DeRosa is only a “loss” if he’s useful going forward, and he too is getting decidedly long in the tooth. And if they’ve still got $7M or more to spend this winter, I would deny that they have “budget problems,” merely that they want to spend the money on something that actually helps them.
Loyalty to the team they put out there last year is a good thing, but none of these losses are irreplaceable, and most are of guys who aren’t going to be as good going forward. The exception, Wonder Brad, was never that good to begin with. Personally, I’m quite happy with the way Mo has handled this off season; my only complaint is that the Holliday contract is for one year too long. If that’s his biggest error, he’s had a good winter.

I agree that thompson ( the way he was used) will not be a great loss. However I think that given a chance to start you will see a very different pitcher. The youngsters boggs & hawksworth will fill in nicely. 3rd base is really the only job that I see really up for grabs. If Freese or someone else steps up then the 7 mill could be spent on a backup outfielder, if they don’t step up then won’t the 7 mill be helpfull in signing a 3rd baseman.

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