Bob Stelton and Matt Pitman debate whether the Mariners should trade for Ryan Ludwick

Jun 27, 2011, 5:03 PM | Updated: 5:35 pm

Ryan Ludwick is hitting .254 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs for the Padres this season. (AP photo)

By Brady Henderson

It should be pretty clear to anyone who’s watched the Mariners this season that if they want to continue their unlikely run and compete for a division title they’ll need to upgrade their offense.

A popular name that has been tossed around is that of Padres left fielder Ryan Ludwick, a player the Mariners reportedly have inquired about. On the surface, the move makes sense for a few reasons.

One of the Mariners’ three biggest holes is in left field (along with third base and DH), where they’ve used a combination of Carlos Peguero, Mike Carp and Greg Halman — all young players who haven’t exactly stood out this season. Ludwick, who turns 33 next month, is hitting .254 with nine home runs this season, totals that are affected by the spacious dimensions at Petco Park.

The Mariners rank 12th in the AL with 44 home runs, so any upgrade they make in left field would likely be one that addresses their need for power. Ludwick’s power numbers have decreased since he hit a career-high 37 home runs with the Cardinals in 2008, but the nine homers he’s hit this season would be the third most on the Mariners.

Bob Stelton and Matt Pitman (filling in for the Groz) debated the merits of trading for a player like Ludwick during Monday’s Bob & Groz show.

Pitman’s take: Ludwick would help the Mariners’ offense, but not enough to justify what they’d have to give up in a trade to acquire him — likely one of their several promising middle infield prospects. His career year of 2008 is well behind him, and as a right-handed batter the tough dimensions at Safeco Field wouldn’t do him any favors.

“I don’t like the idea of depleting your depth and talent to go get a guy who could be a marginal addition at best in a Ryan Ludwick-type player,” Pitman said.

Stelton’s take: Because of the difficulty of predicting future individual results, there’s no reason to think the Mariners would be better off waiting a year or two to try to contend. Ludwick is better than his current stats indicate. If the price is right, take a proven commodity like Ludwick over a prospect who may never pan out.

“This attachment to guys that have proven nothing at this level is not rational,” Stelton said. “I understand not wanting to gut your system; I get that completely, and I’m not advocating gut the system, throw out everybody and bring in a marginal hitter. But I’m saying let’s not overvalue some of these guys that have done nothing at this level.”

You can download Monday’s podcast here to listen to the debate.

Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson

Team: mariners
Date Starting Pitcher
Sunday, May 28 @ 1:10 pm

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Partly Sunny
High 70° | Low 49°
No game today.

Bob, Groz and Tom

Seahawks RB Chris Carson...

Brent Stecker

Heaps: Bench Chris Carson? Seahawks need him running to make playoffs

Seahawks running back Chris Carson is struggling with fumbles, and it's imperative he corrects the issue, says Jake Heaps. "If this team is going to go to the playoffs, they have to have Chris Carson running the football."

4 years ago

The Groz at T-Mobile Park...

Brent Stecker

Watch: The Groz throws out the 1st pitch before Mariners-Astros game

Dave "The Groz" Grosby was honored by the Mariners on Tuesday night by throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Check out video, photos and more from his big night here.

4 years ago

Bob, Groz and Tom... Staff

Highlights from The Groz’s last show on Bob, Groz and Tom

Dave "The Groz" Grosby signed off as a full-time Seattle sports radio host Friday on Bob, Groz and Tom with visits from several notable names from his career.

4 years ago

The Groz... Staff

Watch: Members of the Seattle sports media pay tribute to The Groz

Watch a special tribute to 710 ESPN Seattle's The Groz featuring messages from members of the Seattle sports media to commemorate his 29 years as a daily host in the market.

4 years ago

The Groz...

Brent Stecker

The Groz’s final show on Bob, Groz and Tom airs Friday at noon

Dave "The Groz" Grosby will finish up his 29-year career as a daily Seattle sports radio host on Friday from noon to 3 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle's Bob, Groz and Tom.

4 years ago

Mariners OF Kyle Lewis...

Brent Stecker

What sets Mariners OF Kyle Lewis apart from other prospects?

Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis hit his fifth home run in eight games in the big leagues on Wednesday. ROOT Sports analyst Mike Blowers talked to Bob, Groz and Tom about Lewis and what makes him stand out.

4 years ago

Bob Stelton and Matt Pitman debate whether the Mariners should trade for Ryan Ludwick