Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick became a free agent Wednesday after declining his $5 million contract option for next season, looking for a bigger deal after his strong second half played a big role in Cincinnati winning the NL Central title.
The 34-year-old Ludwick was the Reds' top hitter while first baseman Joey Votto missed 48 games with a knee injury, batting .340 with 12 homers and 36 RBI. Ludwick hit .275 overall in 125 games with 26 homers and 80 RBI. He went 6 for 18 (.333) with three homers, four RBI and four walks in the division series loss to World Series champion San Francisco.
The Reds signed Ludwick to a one-year deal for 2012 that included a $2 million base salary, and he earned an additional $350,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. After turning down his part of a mutual option for 2013, he gets a $500,000 buyout. Although the Reds are interested in keeping him, Ludwick decided to see what kind of deal he can get on the open market.