If I told you that a 26-year-old right-handed outfielder, who makes the league minimum, and is slugging .512 on the strength of 4 home runs in 41 at-bats so far this year got designated for assignment this morning, would you be interested?
Say hello to Ryan Ludwick. The Indians removed him from their roster to make room for Juan Gonzalez, meaning they have 10 days to trade him or put him through waivers. Now, Ludwick’s not a spectacular player. He’s got holes in his swing, a mediocre approach at the plate, and his defense isn’t great after knee surgery, but he’s got legitimate power as a right-handed bat off the bench and reserve outfielder. His .812 OPS would rank fourth on the team, if he was added to the roster. His slugging percentage is higher than the OPS for Willie Bloomquist, Greg Dobbs, or Wilson Valdez.
At this point, he could be had for something resembling a song. He won’t be a starter on the M’s next championship team, but he could be a very nifty fourth outfielder and a useful pinch hitter, something the organization simply doesn’t have at the moment. If the front office really wants to improve the team, they’ll inquire about guys like Ryan Ludwick, a great example of the freely available talent philosophy that has eluded the organization for a long time.