Ankiel, Ludwig far off from Cards' offer

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ST. LOUIS — Rick Ankiel and Ryan Ludwick and the St. Louis Cardinals were far apart when they exchanged figures Tuesday in salary arbitration.

Ankiel, who hit 25 homers last year before sports hernia surgery ended his season, asked for $3.3 million and was offered $2.35 million. Ludwick requested $4.25 million and was offered $2.8 million after hitting 37 homers and driving in 113 runs.

If agreements aren't reached, the cases will go to hearings next month.

St. Louis did avoid arbitration with right-hander Brad Thompson, agreeing to a $650,000, one-year contract.

Thompson, who turns 27 on Jan. 31, split time as a starter and reliever last season. He was 6-3 with a 5.15 ERA and spent part of the season at Class AAA Memphis. For his career, Thompson is 19-11 with a 4.24 ERA in 153 games.

His agreement came a day after the team avoided arbitration with two other players, giving pitcher Todd Wellemeyer to a $4.05 million, one-year deal and outfielder Chris Duncan an $825,000, one-year contract.

— AP

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