Leaving Petco helps Ludwick's value 

July, 31, 2011

In Sunday's afternoon game against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates started Xavier Paul and Garrett Jones in the corner outfield spots. Neither of them is having a strong season. As the Pirates-Phillies game was heading into extra innings, the Ryan Ludwick trade was announced. Ludwick certainly isn't a star player himself, but on a team starved for power -- only Andrew McCutchen and Saturday acquisition Derrek Lee have more than 10 home runs -- Ludwick can, in theory, help.

Ludwick comes to Pittsburgh via the San Diego Padres with only 11 home runs, but surely Petco Park has played a role there. Ludwick hit 17 home runs for the Padres and St. Louis Cardinals last season, 22 in 2009 and let's just assume the 37-homer behemoth campaign from 2008 was an outlier. Ludwick isn't a great fantasy option, but he is an upgrade on what the team currently has -- notably Paul -- though he's not having a great season by any means. Jones actually has a higher OPS than Ludwick.