|Ryan Madson earned $8.5M this season |
without appearing in a single game
The 34-year old Ludwick signed a one-year deal with Cincinnati this past offseason and he turned out to be a steal. In 125 games, Ludwick batted .275 with 26 homers and 80 RBI. One could make a compelling case that he was the team's best hitter during Joey Votto's 48 game absence due to a knee injury. Ludwick also stepped up huge in the NLDS against the Giants by hitting .333 (6-18) with three jacks, four RBI, and four walks.
Ludwick earned a base salary of $2 million in 2012 with an additional $350,000 in performance-based bonuses. He was slated to earn $5 million in 2013, but he took a $500,000 buyout instead in hopes of getting a multi-year deal. GM Walt Jocketty has expressed interest in bringing the veteran back to the Queen City.
The right-handed Madson turned down a $11 million mutual option for next year in favor of a hefty $2.5 million buyout. He earned a base salary of $6 million in '12 despite not throwing a single pitch in any game. The Reds signed the former Phillie over the winter with intentions of using him as their closer, but those plans were scrapped when Madson went down with a season-ending elbow injury in Spring Training. Cincinnati wasn't going to exercise his option anyway, so it made sense for Madson to go ahead and get the free agency process rolling.
The National League Central champs have also expressed interest in re-signing him to a less-expensive deal.