7:07pm: For what it's worth, manager Jim Leyland said "He's going to get it," referring to Ordonez's option. "He's swinging the bat good. I need him in the lineup. I'm hoping he can be more of a force for us down the stretch. That would really be a boost to our offense." The quote comes courtesy of MLive.com's Chris Iott. Magglio is in the Tigers' lineup tonight, and has already come to the plate twice.
2:08pm: Big-money vesting options are at stake this month for a pair of Scott Boras clients. Right fielder Magglio Ordonez's $18MM option for 2010 vests with just eight more plate appearances. And pitcher Kevin Millwood is just 13 outs away from locking in a $12MM salary for next year.
The Ordonez situation is simple. He's been hitting well since the beginning of August, and the Tigers are not inclined to mess around trying to avoid the vesting option. Maggs figures to be removed from the potential 2010 free agents list Tuesday night against the Royals.
Millwood is more complicated. Evan Grant of D Magazine questions the pitcher's health and declining velocity, and suggests benching him may be the Rangers' best chance at winning. If so, the Rangers would have to play it off as a coincidence that the option came remarkably close to vesting. To be fair, Millwood has been knocked around in four of his last five starts. Perhaps Boras' grievance would point out that Millwood remained in the rotation after posting a 6.75 ERA in July, and how there hasn't been talk of him switching to a mop-up relief role for the rest of the season.
MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan grilled Rangers president Nolan Ryan and GM Jon Daniels about Millwood on Thursday (before the pitcher's Saturday stinker), and both execs insisted the vesting option is not a factor in the manager's decision-making. Ryan went as far to say, "I would never do that to him."