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Ludwick signs

It's official: Ryan Ludwick has agreed to a $3.7-million one-year contract with the Cardinals, putting to bed the team's last arbitration case.

 Ludwick had asked for $4.2 million while the Cardinals countered with $2.8 million. As I mentioned earlier, it might have been tough for the team to win a scheduled Tuesday arbitration hearing when it gave Rick Ankiel slightly more than the team's arbitration submission for Ludwick.

Ludwick was an MVP award candidate, an All-Star and was one of the most productive offensive players in the National League. Ankiel was a solid player, but lagged far behind Ludwick in batting average, home runs and RBIs.