As a Cards’ fan, this is disappointing. We do upgrade the rotation today but at the cost of probably half a win in RF the rest of this year. Plus, we lose the surplus value we would have gained from Ludwick next year. Trading Ludwick to get younger and cheaper would have been a good move this offseason, but we didn’t get enough from Ludwick.
In a sense, this reminds me of when the Phillies traded Cliff Lee. Neither team really needed to trade that player when they did and, by doing so, made themselves worse. All that said, the upgrade from Suppan to Westbrook will be slightly greater than the downgrade from Ludwick to Jay/Craig in 2010.
Initial reaction, not happy. Ludwick seems to be a player that really cares and tries hard. I side with Bernie Miklasz that we need more offense and I now think we really need more offense. Awesome defensive player, very fun to watch. Wonder when his contract is up.
I don’t see how this is anything but a negative for the Cards. Ludwick has had at least 2 WAR the past four seasons, including half a season in 2007. He’s already totaled 2.6 this year (although his UZR/150 should be coming down soon). Westbrook had .4 WAR in 08, didn’t pitch in 09, and has 1.0 WAR this year. Unless another deal is coming to add an outfielder, I don’t see the reason to trade Ludwick here.
Comment by skippyballer486 — July 31, 2010 @ 2:41 pm
Me no likey.
 I’m not convinced Jay and Craig are good enough to stick. I get a little tired of the constant call up, send down, the Cardinals do with Stavinoha, Mather, Craig, Jay, Thurston, Robinson, etc.
 Ludwick is good, and has been good.
 I don’t want to open 2011 with a 1WAR RF.
Wasn’t Mitchell Boggs supposed to be a SP prospect?
Comment by CircleChange11 — July 31, 2010 @ 3:41 pm
Maybe this will force Tony to play Rasmus every day finally; that should have been Mozeliak’s deadline deal. Not defending the deal, but if Jay was displacing Rasmus, getting Rasmus back in the lineup is a net gain as Rasmus > Ludwick. That said, Ludwick > a Jay / Craig platoon.
If those two differences can wash, this could be worth a half win to a full win for the Cards with the Westbrook upgrade over Hwaksworth.
It doesn’t make sense to compare Westbrook’s WAR to Ludwick’s. It makes more sense to compare Westbrook to the SP he will be replacing and Ludwick to the OFs who will be replacing him. Unfortunately, they were not able to start four OF in their everyday lineup or use a three-man starting rotation (and unfortunately, Ludwick is not qualified to take one of those spots in the starting rotation…).
It’s not like Ludwick is making peanuts. As it stands, Ludwick would be one of the most highly paid Padres next year. In the long term this is a slight help to the Cardinals in terms of payroll flexibility. We’re talking Pujols extension. Jay gives the Cards less total wins, but is an upgrade over Ludwick when considering WAR / $$$. If it ends up being an even trade over 2010 (which it may not be) this deal is a win. At any rate, you have to weigh the future flex vs. the initial year impact.
Comment by intricatenick — July 31, 2010 @ 6:38 pm
They might have been able to get a useful starter for “less than Ryan Ludwick,” but I am unconvinced that they could have got one for something less DISPENSABLE than Ryan Ludwick, particularly when salary is taken into account. I like this move for the Cardinals. (The team that gives me the “what were they thinking?” reaction out of the three is Cleveland; San Diego also looks to have profited by getting Luddy, because he patches a weakness.)
If you just consider WAR / $$$ for some reason, any pre-arbitration player who is at all better than replacement-level is a better buy than anyone who is into his arbitration years. Ludwick is not making negligible money, but he’s probably a true-talent 3 win player making $5.45 million this year and likely due to make around $8 million in 2011. He’s got a surplus value of around $8 million.
I’m pretty skeptical that a 24 year old having his breakout year repeating AA and an unimpressive A-baller who was taken in the 14th round last year has that much value.
Well, Westbrook’s WAR for the rest of the season will probably be, at best, about .5. So unless Ludwick is being replaced by the recently-cloned Matt Holliday, I still don’t see how this helps the Cardinals.
Comment by skippyballer486 — July 31, 2010 @ 9:23 pm
Cleveland simply needs to move as much money as they can off of the books. They have the lowest attendance of any team this year. Any salary they move is helpful to them at this point. They would like Westbrook to come back next year, but there is no guarantee that he will re-sign. So they dump the salary now, take the AA pitcher, and talk to Westbrook in the off season.
I am a Pads fan, so I’m incredibly happy to have Ryan Ludwick aboard, and even happier because we didn’t have to lose someone we couldn’t replace.
Help me out here, does a player like Ludwick truly have any trade value gong into his third arbitration contract?
My thinking is a team would have to have Ludwick’s contract figured out first so wouldn’t you have to tender him to be able to trade him? Aren’t you looking at him signing a one-year contract for $8M then finding a team that will take that contract as well as agreeing on return players?
Am I missing that he has minimal trade value this winter? Are there any other examples of players getting traded being an arbitration 3 with an $8M contract or even trading for a similar tenured player then signing that player to an extension?
Ludwick still provides surplus value over a likely $8M arbitration award, so there definitely is some value there. Also, it’s likely he’ll be a Type A free agent, or at least a Type B, so that’s even more value if you get him for next year as, barring any kind of catastrophic injury, you’ll be getting draft picks back in return, as well.
The deal for Westbrook was salary neutral for the Cardinals, supposedly, so they got a lot of the surplus value back in cash from the Indians since Westbrook was owed a lot more than Ludwick for the rest of the season.