Ryan Ludwick would like to return to the Cincinnati Reds. The team would like him back. However, in order for that to happen, the sides are going to have to work out a new deal.
Ludwick declined his $5 million option.
"We talked to his agent," Cincinnati general manager Walt Jocketty said. "There's interest on both sides."
Even though Ludwick opted out of the mutual option, the Reds are still on the hook for a $500,000 buyout.
Ludwick, 34, had a solid year for the Reds after signing a one-year, $2.5 million deal in January. He hit .275 with 26 home runs and 80 RBI. It was his best year since 2009.
"He wants more than one year," Jocketty said. "For our standpoint, the shorter the better."
The Reds already have more than $74 million committed to payroll for 2013. The payroll in 2012 with $87 million. They also have nine players who are arbitration-eligible, which will make it difficult to add free agents.
If Ludwick does not return, Chris Heisey would be No. 1 on the depth chart at left field.