Leaving Petco helps Ludwick's value

Updated: July 31, 2011, 6:01 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

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.