Free Agent Stock Watch: Magglio Ordonez

Magglio Ordonez was in line for a $15MM salary next year until a July ankle fracture ended his 2010 season.  The Scott Boras client is now a free agent; let's examine his stock.

The Good

  • Ordonez hasn't posted an OBP below .376 since '06.  His power ticked back up to a .474 SLG after a down '09.
  • He can handle an outfield corner, as he was on pace for over 1,000 innings in right field before the injury.  Ordonez has never played left field in the Majors, but he'd be wise to consider it.
  • If Boras thinks Ordonez has a big 2011 in him, he might consider one-year offers.
  • Though Ordonez is a Type A free agent, he won't be offered arbitration and therefore won't cost a draft pick.

The Bad

  • Ordonez turns 37 in January and has to be considered a health and/or performance decline risk.  In regard to his ankle, Boras told MLB.com's Jason Beck, "I think a lot is being made of a standard fracture."  If Boras is correct, Ordonez can point to the fact that he's only had one other DL stint since '06, 18 days for an oblique strain in '08.
  • Ordonez's outfield defense might give National League teams pause.
  • Boras told Beck "there's going to be very strong demand" for right-handed hitters like Ordonez.  That's typical Boras-speak, but it's still possible he's aiming for a $10MM salary or multiple years.

The Verdict

Ordonez could return to the Tigers as a complementary piece.  He may also draw interest from the Rays, Blue Jays, Athletics, Mariners, or Rangers for a DH-centric role.  If Ordonez is viewed as a corner outfielder, the Phillies, Nationals, Cardinals, Giants, Braves, Reds, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, and Padres could join the mix.  Something like two years and $16MM seems possible, unless Boras is more inclined to try to build up value on a one-year deal.


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