Cheap Seats

Remember the Ludwick for Johnson talk?

For those who are wringing their hands at the thought of the trade of prospect Brett Wallace for slugger Matt Holliday, take a bit of comfort in a deal that didn't happen.

Remember last year when there was talk that the Cardinals would deal Ryan Ludwick to the Braves for second baseman Kelly Johnson? Some Atlanta fans howled on the talk radio circuit that the deal was horribly unfair because Ludwick was a one-year wonder?

Well, Johnson's star has fallen so fast that there is a good chance the Braves will soon set him free by non-tendering him. Johsnon hit only .224 with eight homers last season in 106 games. He  lost his job at second base because his sputtering bat didn't justify his defensive mediocrity.

Ludwick may not have lived up to his 2008 standards when he was an All-Star and an MVP candidate. But he hit .265 with 22 homers despite missing more than 20 games with injuries and he managed to drive in 97 runs.

Hopefully, Ludwick will find the middle between last season and his 37 homer 2008 when he hit .299 with 113 RBIs.

I'd be thrilled with anything over .280 with 25 homers and 90 RBIs in 2010., hopefully batting in the fifth hole behind Matt Holliday.