I’m gonna see if I can go a whole post without referencing last night’s historic election. There’s been a rumor floating around MLB Trade Rumors. They’re saying the Braves might trade Kelly Johnson to the Cardinals for Ryan Ludwick.
The rumor was first reported by the AJC’s David O’Brien. Here’s what he had to say about the rumor on Tuesday:
By the way, I didn’t start the Johnson-for-Ludwick rumor, though I’ll take credit if you insist. It was something I heard whispered and I said I’d let you know if I heard it said any louder.
But I do think Braves are trying to get Ludwick. Just don’t know if they’d give up KJ to get him.
Don’t know if they’d give up KJ for Ludwick? For real?
Sure, Johnson plays a skill position and he’s three years younger than Ludwick but, I mean, come on. Ludwick hit 37 home runs in 2008. That’s serious power, and it’s power that Johnson will never possess.
Let me throw some numbers at you:
Ludwick’s OPD (offense plus defense) in 2008 was 36.4. Johnson’s was 9.9.
Ludwick’s OPS+ was 150. Johnson’s was 108 and his career high is 117.
Ludwick created 117 runs in 2008. Johnson created 87.
Ludwick’s OBP was .375. Johnson’s was .349 (though, in 2007 it was .375).
Ludwick’s VORP was 53.6. Johnson’s VORP was 27.7.
Here’s the argument against Ludwick:
In 2008, Ludwick’s batting average for balls in play was .342. That was the fifth highest in the league and suggests he was pretty lucky. But here’s the thing: Johnson’s BABIP was .340, good for eighth highest in the league. So he was equally lucky.
Given that both players were equally lucky in 2008 and that Ludwick managed to hit 25 more home runs, post a batting average 12 points higher, and slug nearly 150 points higher, I’ve got to say that he’s the guy I want.
So if I’m the Cardinals GM and I get a call from Frank Wren today proposing a straight up trade of Johnson for Ludwick, I’ve got only one thing to say: “Yes we can!
(D’oh! I almost made it.)