Cincinnati Reds Reportedly Agree to Re-Sign OF Ryan Ludwick

Ian HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2012

The Cincinnati Reds have been relatively quiet so far this offseason, but the team reportedly agreed to a new deal with veteran outfielder Ryan Ludwick on Friday.

UPDATE: Saturday, December 8 at 11:15 a.m. ET

CBS' Jon Heyman has revealed the terms of Ryan Ludwick's new contract with the Reds.

Ryan Ludwick gets $15M, 2 yrs. #reds

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 8, 2012

---End of Update---

CBS Sports had the news via Twitter:

Reds, Ryan Ludwick agree to terms via @cbssports

— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) December 7, 2012

Ludwick was an important piece in the Reds' offense last season, swatting 26 home runs and knocking in 80 RBI. The nine-year veteran became a fixture in left field because of his penchant for the big hit.

A career .263 hitter, Ludwick batted .275 last year. His power hitting has always been evident, but he showed a renewed focus at the plate in his first year with the Reds. It's hard to tell if he can keep that up, but the reason for optimism is there.

Signing Ludwick ensures that the Reds' outfield depth is maintained for next season. Chris Heisey will remain as the team's primary backup at all three positions, rather than slot in as a starter in left. That makes the team better overall.

Ludwick's presence in left field gives Cincinnati a very solid outfield. Jay Bruce is one of the best power hitters in the game in right field, and Drew Stubbs, although inconsistent, is a five-tool player when he plays up to his potential.

Ludwick isn't the biggest name of the bunch, but he proved last year that he might be the most important. Protecting Bruce and a healthy Joey Votto is necessary in the Reds lineup, and Ludwick proved last year that he was capable of getting the job done in that role.

No one is going to mistake Ludwick for Josh Hamilton, but this is a big get nonetheless for the Reds. If he matches last season's production, and Votto remains in the lineup, Cincinnati will be right back in the hunt when the postseason comes around.