Reds finalize contracts with Ludwick, Francis
The Reds have made a couple moves to improve their depth, finalizing a $2.5 million, one-year contract with outfielder Ryan Ludwick and a minor league deal with left-handed starter Jeff Francis.
The 33-year-old Ludwick gets $2 million this year, and Wednesday's deal includes a $5 million mutual option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout. He can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances: $50,000 each for 250, 300 and 350, $100,000 apiece for 400 and 450, and $150,000 for 500.
The outfielder batted .237 last season in 139 games with the Padres and Pirates, hitting 13 homers with 75 RBIs. Ludwick also has played for the Rangers, Indians and Cardinals.
The 31-year-old Francis has struggled since he missed the 2009 season because of shoulder surgery. Last season, he was 6-16 for Kansas City with a 4.82 ERA in 31 starts.
Cincinnati also designated right-handed reliever Carlos Fisher for assignment. The Reds have 10 days to trade him, place him on release waivers or send him outright to the minors.