Magglio Ordonez Rumors

American League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 American League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make, and we'll update them in this post throughout the day in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here

Updated team decisions:

Teams with decisions still due:


Quick Hits: Ordonez, Rangers, Myers, Cubs

Remember – the deadline to make picks for MLBTR's first-ever free agent prediction contest is tonight at midnight central time.  Only ballots with picks made for all of the top 50 free agents will be counted; incomplete ones will not be eligible.  So dot your I's, cross your T's, and give yourself a chance at a piece of $1000 worth of great prizes.  For information about the contest rules and prizes, click here.  When you're done with that, check out these links..

  • MLB.com's Jason Beck chatted with Carlos Guillen, who has been talking with Magglio Ordonez since the season ended and the veteran relayed that Ordonez plans on playing again next year.  That news matches up with what we've been hearing recently.  Reportedly, it's very unlikely that Guillen or Ordonez will return to the Tigers next year.
  • In a piece for MLB.com, Peter Gammons praises Rangers GM Jon Daniels, assistant GM Thad Levine, senior director of player personnel A.J. Preller, and the rest of the club's front office for their work in recent years.  Gammons runs down some of the club's best calls, including their 2010 to trade for Cliff Lee which propelled them to win the pennant and reach the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
  • The Braves had trade talks with the Royals about Jair Jurrjens and Martin Prado but talks have stalled, likely because Kansas City does not want to part with top prospect Wil MyersRustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star believes that Myers is a player with star potential that can be used to net the club a potential impact starting pitcher in a trade.
  • Either Dale Sveum or Mike Maddux would make sense as the Cubs' next manager, writes Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com.  Meanwhile, the club has a huge void in its rotation and pitching figures to be their biggest need this offseason.  In his Offseason Outlook for the Cubs, Tim Dierkes writes the Cubs could easily spread their surplus among four or five veterans rather than go for a big splash.
  • Josh Goldman of Fangraphs brings us three visuals to analyze baseball's previous $100MM contract recipients and how they performed.  Recently, our own Ben Nicholson-Smith checked in on how baseball's newest $100MM players fared in 2011.

Tigers Notes: Ordonez, Guillen, Catcher, Jose Reyes

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski spoke to reporters today; here's the latest from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press on Twitter.



Magglio Ordonez Wants To Continue Playing

Outfielder Magglio Ordonez is said to want to keep playing, despite the re-break of his ankle, according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated (via Twitter).  The veteran re-fractured his ankle on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Ordonez admitted that he nearly retired mid-season due to lingering issues in his surgically-repaired right ankle.  The slugger will turn 38 in January and will be eligible for free agency this winter.  He earned $10MM in 2011 but should see a significant pay cut if he decides to return in 2012.


Central Notes: Ventura, Ordonez, Sizemore, Epstein

If the Tigers win the ALCS, we could see the first all-Central World Series since St. Louis topped Detroit five years ago.  Today's AL and NL Central links…

  • The White Sox announced they'll introduce new manager Robin Ventura tomorrow at an 11am central time press conference.  ESPNChicago's Doug Padilla reported today that Mark Parent will come aboard as Ventura's bench coach and Joe McEwing will serve as the third base coach.  Jeff Manto is ahead of Tim Laker in terms of hitting coach candidates, Padilla reports.
  • The Tigers' Magglio Ordonez re-fractured his ankle Saturday, reported MLB.com's Jason Beck.  The right fielder will see specialists after returning to Detroit, tweets Tom Gage of the Detroit News.  Ordonez, 38 in January, is eligible for free agency this winter.
  • "It seems highly unlikely" that the Indians will exercise their $8.5MM club option on center fielder Grady Sizemore, opines MLB.com's Jordan Bastian.  The Indians revealed Tuesday that Sizemore had a right knee arthroscopy but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.  Should the 29-year-old reach free agency, I'd rank him around 30th on my top 50 list.
  • A rival executive talked to ESPN's Buster Olney on Red Sox GM Theo Epstein and the Cubs"If he met with the Cubs, what it means is that if he gets the offer he wants, he's gone [to Chicago]."  Earlier today, however, SI's Jon Heyman wrote that most baseball insiders "believe it's more likely than not [Epstein will] remain in Boston, at least for now."
  • Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez reflected on this summer's trade, telling Mike Puma of the New York Post, "I'm winning, and [the Mets] needed pretty much to get rid of me."  K-Rod told Puma he holds no grudge toward the Mets.
  • Of the 11 Pirates players eligible for arbitration this winter, only Joel Hanrahan, Jeff Karstens, Charlie Morton, and Evan Meek are absolutely certain to be tendered contracts, writes MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch.  She notes that "if the Pirates do not intend to tender a contract to someone on the list, there is a good chance that player will be removed in November so that the Pirates can open up roster spots to protect players from being taken in the Rule 5 Draft."  Click here for MLBTR's projected salaries for the Pirates' arbitration group. 
  • The chances of lefty Paul Maholm returning to the Pirates next year are less than 50-50, in the opinion of Langosch.  I'd say Maholm ranks toward the back end of the top ten free agent starters this winter.
  • Check out my offseason outlooks for the Cubs and Astros.

Ordonez Nearly Retired Midseason

Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-3 today in the Tigers' victory over the Yankees in Game 2 of the ALDS, but he almost didn't have the opportunity to do so. The longtime Tiger told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that he almost retired a few months ago due to lingering issues in his surgically-repaired right ankle.

"When I was playing, I didn't enjoy the game," he said. "And I play with my heart."

Ordonez told Knobler he "almost hung it up" at that point. However, he talked with his family and decided to stick with it. As Knobler points out, Ordonez hit .365/.377/.459 over his final 21 games. The power that made Ordonez such a terror to his opponents in the early and mid-2000s is no longer there, but the 37-year-old now says his ankle feels "normal" like it did before the injury.

Ordonez debuted with the White Sox in 1997 and played there from age 23-30, but joined the rival Tigers as a free agent only to see Chicago win it all in its first year without him. Now, his persistence has positioned him for another shot at a World Series title. He won't sign another eight-figure contract like last offseason's one-year, $10MM deal with the Tigers if he decides he can play again in 2012, but that's probably the last thing on the veteran's mind right now.


Quick Hits: Magglio, Betemit, Manny, Indians

Wandy Rodriguez looked sharp in his return from the disabled list tonight.  The Astros left-hander allowed four walks and two hits over six shutout innings as Houston notched a 8-3 win over Atlanta.  You'll be reading a lot about Rodriguez at MLBTR this summer since, with so few difference-making pitchers on the market, Rodriguez could arguably be the top arm available at the trade deadline.

Some links….

  • Magglio Ordonez could be on the market very soon, writes Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Ordonez is a defensive liability in the outfield the Tigers can't put him at DH since that could cost Victor Martinez or Alex Avila at-bats.  Ordonez is still owed $5.8MM this season and he has a no-trade clause, so Morosi figures Detroit "would probably need to swap one burdensome contract for another" to move the veteran slugger.  The Yankees, Mariners and Angels are listed as contenders who could use DH help.
  • Wilson Betemit is drawing attention from several scouts, tweets ESPN's Buster Olney.  Betemit is hitting .289/.348/.411 for the Royals this season but lost his starting third base job to Mike MoustakasMLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith profiled Betemit's trade candidacy last month and noted that at a 2011 salary of just $1MM, Betemit is bargain for any club needing third base help.   
  • The Royals have signed five more of their draft picks, with seventh-rounder Kellen Moen the highest pick yet to sign with the club this year.
  • As if the Dodgers didn't have enough financial problems, the club owes Manny Ramirez a deferred payment of $8.33MM by June 30, reports Molly Knight of ESPN The Magazine.  Ramirez is owed a total of $25MM in deferred money from the Dodgers, which will be split up into three equal payments this year, next year and in 2013.
  • The Indians announced the signings of three picks from the 2011 draft.  Outfielder Bryson Myles (sixth round) was the highest-picked of these signings.

Tigers Confident In Ordonez’s Health

Once Magglio Ordonez showed the Tigers that he was healthy, it only took ten days or so for the team to bring him back to Detroit. But GM Dave Dombrowski wasn't always certain that Ordonez would return.

"When you have a player that can hit like Magglio," Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters, "you always have some concerns [about losing him via free agency] because he's a good player."

Agent Scott Boras declined to discuss specifics, but acknowledged that other teams expressed interest in his client. Boras explained that the market for right-handed hitters with power is strong (an assertion that's hard to contest given the $126MM deal Boras negotiated on behalf of Jayson Werth this month).

The Tigers may have wondered about their ability to re-sign Ordonez, but they say that their concerns about his health are minimal. Ordonez had surgery in August after fracturing his right ankle, but Boras called the injury "minor." The Tigers appear to agree; Dombrowski said Ordonez is in "tremendous shape." The right fielder worked out in Florida for the Tigers during the Winter Meetings to show that he is in playing condition.

Ordonez said he chose to return to Detroit because of his relationship with the Tigers front office, team owner Mike Ilitch and his familiarity with the city. Boras said economics are just part of the picture for his client, who reportedly turned down multiyear deals to play in the Motor City. Ordonez's current deal, which will pay him $10MM in 2011, probably won't be his last.

" I don't think Magglio is in any way thinking about the end of his career at this point," Boras said.

Ordonez, who has the final say in the matter, explained that he hopes to be a Tiger for a while.

"I'd like to finish my career with the Detroit Tigers," he said.


Tigers To Re-Sign Magglio Ordonez

The Tigers agreed to re-sign Magglio Ordonez to a one-year deal, the team announced. The contract is worth $10MM, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link). Ordonez, a Scott Boras client, turned down two-year offers elsewhere, according to Heyman.

Before fracturing his right ankle last July, the 36-year-old batted .303/.378/.474 in 365 plate appearances. He'll likely return to right field for the Tigers, which will presumably push Ryan Raburn into competition with Brennan Boesch and Don Kelly for the team's everyday left field job.

The Rangers and Red Sox reportedly had interest in Ordonez, who remained optimistic about returning to Detroit. Over the weekend, 39% of 10,000 MLBTR readers correctly predicted that the Tigers would re-sign Ordonez.

Until Ordonez injured his ankle, it seemed likely that his 2011 option would vest for $15MM. Instead, the Tigers declined arbitration – a good move given the $18MM salary Ordonez made last year – and re-signed him on the open market.

The Tigers entered the offseason with a number of needs, but GM Dave Dombrowski has addressed most of them already. The team re-signed Ordonez, Brandon Inge and Jhonny Peralta and signed Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit. If Dombrowski is comfortable with Armando Galarraga and Phil Coke at the back of his rotation, the rest of the winter could be relatively quiet for the Tigers.


Poll: Who Will Sign Magglio Ordonez?

Magglio Ordonez‘s season came to an abrupt end on July 24th, when he fractured his ankle sliding across home plate. He had been hitting .303/.378/.474 in 365 plate appearances up to that point, and appeared to be on his way to having his $15MM option for 2011 vest. The injury changed everything and Magglio is a free agent for just the second time in his career.

Agent Scott Boras said that Ordonez has completed the rehab required for his ankle and has “returned to full workout routines.” He also held a private work out for the Tigers last week. The Rangers have interest in Magglio and the Red Sox did as well, at least until they traded for Adrian Gonzalez and signed Carl Crawford. Tim Dierkes examined Ordonez’s free agent stock last month, speculating that the Rays, Blue Jays, and Athletics could have some interest in a DH role. 

With the big free agent outfielders off the board, the market for Magglio should heat up very soon. Where do you think he’ll land?