With Hunter Pence now off the board following his acquisition by the Phillies, and with uncertainty as to whether the White Sox will deal Carlos Quentin, everybody looking for a bat is now rushing to ... San Diego, to get Ryan Ludwick?
Not exactly. The Braves continued to show interest on Friday, according to CBSSports.com sources, along with the Indians and the Reds.
The Braves continue to appear to be the main players, but talks did not appear to be hot. Perhaps with Pence no longer available in Houston, Atlanta's efforts will increase toward Ludwick. But as the Padres shop their outfielder in advance of his impending free agency, no deal was imminent as of Friday night.
Part of that, according to sources, is because the Braves are still traveling parallel paths in their quest to obtain an outfielder. They had interest in Pence, continue to have interest in Quentin and Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton, and could turn to Oakland and Josh Willingham.
The Indians, who acquired outfielder Kosuke Fukudome from the Cubs on Thursday, had several lines out on Friday both for another bat and for pitching.
The Reds, who have had a very disappointing season and were five games under .500 heading into this weekend's series with San Francisco, were thought by many to be veering into "seller" territory after getting pummeled by the Mets earlier in the week. But Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty said flatly Friday that the club is not in sell mode and added that with so many games remaining against NL Central rivals, there is time for the Reds to climb back into the race.
Ludwick, who batted fourth for the Padres on Friday night, is hitting .238 with 11 homers and 62 RBIs. He is a free agent this winter, and the Padres are not expected to make a bid to retain him.