Magglio Ordonez has made his third plate appearance of the night in Detroit against the Royals, reaching base on an Alex Gordon error. The at-bat means his 2010 option has vested, as expected. Making his 1080th plate appearance in 2008 and 2009 combined, Ordonez reached the minimum number of PA required to guarantee his $18MM option.
When the Tigers benched and platooned the 35-year-old right fielder earlier in the year, it seemed unlikely that he would play enough to trigger the option, but a torrid second half (.364/.438/.521) has made it impossible for Jim Leyland to keep him out of the lineup.
While Ordonez's hot bat has helped the Tigers in their 2009 playoff push, his overall production has declined significantly. He has only homered seven times, after hitting 20-plus in each of the last three seasons. His age and injury history suggest the odds are against his 2010 numbers rebounding to his career averages of .311/.371/.512.
With $18MM now committed to Maggs next season, the Tigers will have less flexibility for other roster moves, such as re-signing or replacing closer Fernando Rodney and second baseman Placido Polanco.