I think a wise man once said, “The Giants sure do love veteran hitters.” You’ll probably remember Ryan Ludwick from his 2008 with the St. Louis Cardinals, a year in which he was truly great — batting .299/.375/.591 (150 OPS+). However, two things are working against Ludwick these days; it’s been three years since 2008; and between 2009-2011, Ludwick has hit .251/.321/.409 (100 OPS+). Ludwick is a below average defender in the outfield, and compare what Nate Schierholtz has done over the past three years (.264/.314/.403) and Ludwick really isn’t any better than the in-house option.
The Giants are hellbent on adding a utility player right now, but Mark DeRosa should be Plan Z at this point. Fun fact: ZiPS has DeRosa’s 2012 projected at .244/.300/.277 (59 OPS+). DeRosa was once a really useful player to have. But he hasn’t been healthy going on three years now and it’s looking doubtful that he’ll ever be 100% again. I’d rather take a flier on a minor league player at this point. Unless DeRosa wants to sign a minor league deal, I’m not sure I see the point.
Cody Ross is rumored to be looking for a two year deal on the free agent market, and it seems rather unlikely that he’ll return to San Francisco at all. Losing Ross isn’t a huge blow to the Giants, but he did add some flexibility and depth to the outfield; though, I’d rather not pay the going market rate for a league average outfielder that can sort of play CF. We’ll always have the NLCS, Cody.