Magglio Ordonez Rumors

Odds & Ends: Rangers, Greinke, Ordonez, Rays

Links for Friday, exactly one year after the Cubs signed John Grabow and traded Aaron Heilman to Arizona…

  • Vladimir Guerrero is talking to the Rangers and three other AL teams, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • Heyman reports that Bengie Molina wants to play another year (Twitter link).
  • Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. suggested that Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth are comparable hitters, according to David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News. That's probably not the first comparison agent Scott Boras would make about Werth.
  • An AL executive explained to Sherman that he believes the Royals will trade Zack Greinke sooner rather than later for two reasons: the demand for ace-level starters is high and the Royals don’t want to see a personal or physical issue reduce Greinke’s value.
  • Boras tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Magglio Ordonez has finished rehabilitating his fractured right ankle and "returned to full workout routines"
  • Rays president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman tells Cork Gaines of Rays Index that he's likely to hold onto his starting pitching because it's so hard to come by.

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.


Odds & Ends: Mets, Webb, Galarraga, Ring, Rasner

Some links to check out on the 11th anniversary of the Indians signing Danys Baez to the largest amateur signing bonus in team history…



Ordonez Optimistic About Returning To Tigers

An ankle injury prevented Magglio Ordonez from earning enough playing time to trigger his 2011 vesting option, and when it became a club option, the team turned it down. However, Ordonez is still hoping he'll be back in Detroit next season. Jason Beck of MLB.com passes on comments the 36-year-old made to Augusto Cardenas of Diario Panorama (Spanish link), suggesting a return to the Tigers could be likely.

"I want to stay in Detroit, obviously," Ordonez said. "I know the organization has been very good to me and the fans have treated me great…. I think there is a great chance to stay in Detroit, but let's see what happens."

Earlier this year, when MLBTR's Mark Polishuk previewed Ordonez's offseason, he opined that an incentive-laden one-year deal with an option may appeal to both the Tigers and the 14-year veteran. As Beck notes, Ordonez could still test the open market, especially if Detroit doesn't offer him arbitration. The Tigers will have plenty of money coming off the books this winter though; if they're as interested in bringing Ordonez back as he is in returning, the two sides should be able to work something out.


Tigers Talk: Avila, Raburn, Ordonez, Inge, Boesch

The Tigers made quite a bit of noise yesterday, declining to pick up Magglio Ordonez's option and announcing that they would not pursue Cliff Lee or another top tier free agent starting pitcher, among several other things. John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press has some more today…

  • First base (Miguel Cabrera) and centerfield (Austin Jackson) are the only positions set in stone for next year, and they plan to fill several others from within. Alex Avila (.228/.316/.340 in 333 plate appearances) will take over as the starting catcher, and Ryan Raburn (.280/.340/.474 in 410 PA) will essentially have a full-time outfield job. Second base will also be filled from within, with Will Rhymes and Scott Sizemore representing the early favorites. Once he returns from knee surgery, Carlos Guillen is expected to be a "jack of all trades."
  • The Tigers do have interest in bringing Ordonez back, presumably at a rate much lower than the $15MM option they declined. That could fill the hole at designated hitter.
  • Dave Dombrowski acknowledged that Brandon Inge's defense is why they want him back, but they feel he can chip in double digit homers as well. Yesterday we heard that the two sides were discussing a multi-year contract.
  • Brennan Boesch, who hit .163/.237/.222 in the second half after a .342/.397/.593 first half, will "have to step up" like any young player who wants a full-time job according to the GM.
  • Dombrowski told Tom Gage of The Detroit News that he wants to add a middle-of-the-order bat, and he would prefer it to be a lefthanded hitter (Twitter link). Cabrera led the league with 32 intentional walks, so finding him some protection is a must. Some notable lefty bats that will be on the free agent market: Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Brad Hawpe, and Hideki Matsui, though all of those guys are defensively challenged. 

Tigers Will Not Pick Up Magglio Ordonez’s Option, Have Talked With Inge About Multi-Year Deal

GM Dave Dombrowski announced that the Tigers will not pick up Magglio Ordonez's $15MM club option for 2011, reports Tom Gage of The Detroit News. Dombrowski did say that the team remains open-minded about bringing Ordonez back, however.

Meanwhile, Dombrowski also said the team wants to bring third baseman Brandon Inge back, and confirmed that the two sides have discussed a multi-year deal. Jhonny Peralta is another player they'd like to bring back according to Gage. The Tigers did however inform Johnny Damon and Gerald Laird that they will not be re-signed, according to MLB.com's Jason Beck (via Twitter). Dombrowski added that they "most likely" will choose not to pursue Jeremy Bonderman either.

Ordonez's option was likely to vest if not for a season ending-ankle injury in late-July. He hit .303/.378/.474 with more walks (40) than strikeouts (38) in 365 plate appearances before the injury, a nice rebound from a down 2009 campaign. Inge is in the final season of a four-year, $24MM deal, though his .247/.321/.392 batting line is the worst of any full season of his career. Thankfully his defense at the hot corner is strong, with a +10.3 UZR since 2008. A multi-year offer might be too good for Inge to pass up.

Peralta was acquired from the Indians at the trade deadline, and hit .254/.315/.399 in 238 plate appearances for Detroit. He played mostly shortstop after the trade, the most action he's gotten at the position since 2008. The Tigers hold a $7MM club option for his services next season, but they'll likely buy that out for $250K and attempt to negotiate a lower salary.

Damon hit .271/.355/.401 after signing a one-year, $8MM deal last offseason, while Laird mustered just a .218/.289/.313 batting line in his two seasons with Detroit. He's fantastic defensively though, having thrown out 72 of 189 potential base stealers (38.1%) during that time. The 27-year-old Bonderman stayed healthy for the first time since 2007 this year, though he posted a 5.53 ERA in 171 innings. He's just wrapping up a four-year, $38MM deal and will hit free agency for the first time.


Discussion: Magglio Ordonez

Judging from what Jim Leyland told MLB.com's Jason Beck, Magglio Ordonez's 2010 season may well be over.  Ordonez has been sidelined since he fractured his right ankle in a July 24 game against Toronto, and while the veteran outfielder is now out of his cast and on crutches, his best-case diagnosis is at least two more weeks on the DL.  As Beck hears from Detroit head trainer Kevin Rand, running puts added stress on the fracture, so it's a risk to bring Ordonez back until his injury is fully healed.  What with the Tigers having fallen out of the AL Central race, there's also no pressing need to get Ordonez back in the lineup.

As MLBTR's Zach Links reported when the injury occurred, the fractured ankle was particularly costly for Ordonez not just because it cut short a solid season and all but ended the Tigers' playoff hopes (Detroit is 8-18 since July 24), but also because it impacts Ordonez's future.  The injury ended any chance Ordonez had of reaching the vesting option that would have guaranteed him a $15MM contract for next season.  Ordonez had to reach 135 starts or 540 plate appearances this season, or a combined 270 starts or 1.080 PAs in 2009-10 — the injury left him with 71 starts and 365 PAs in 2010 and 173 starts/883 PAs over the two-year span.

The question now is, did Ordonez's fateful slide against the Blue Jays also end his stay in Detroit?  Though Ordonez has been very productive (.874 OPS wearing the gothic D) and relatively healthy over his six seasons in Motown, he also turns 37 in January.  As Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero and Detroit's own Johnny Damon have showed us in recent years, the market for aging outfielders starts much lower than Ordonez's $15MM club option. 

Detroit has a lot of payroll coming off the books this winter, and thus could choose to spend some of that money on a top free-agent outfielder or DH rather than fill those spots with aging options like Ordonez or Damon.  That said, while it seems likely the Tigers will decline their club option, it wouldn't be a surprise to see the club bring Ordonez back on a one-year, $7-$8MM contract that includes an option year and incentives.  It would be a solid gesture for a player who has been a team leader on and off the field.   

If the Tigers don't pursue him, a similar contract will no doubt be waiting for Ordonez with another club.  Given that Ordonez had a .303/.378/.474 slash line before his injury, he could do for a new lineup similar to what Vlad Guerrero has done for Texas this season.


Ordonez Out 6-8 Weeks, Option Will Not Vest

Tigers slugger Magglio Ordonez will be out for 6-8 weeks with a broken right ankle, according to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse (via Twitter).  The injury could prove to be costly for Ordonez as he needs 540 plate appearances or 135 starts in order for his 2011 option to vest.

Currently, the 36-year-old has 363 plate appearances and has started just 71 games.  Based on the current prognosis, Ordonez could only hope to return to action in the first week of September.

Had his 2011 option with Detroit vested, Ordonez would have earned $15MM.  This season, Ordonez has a slash line of .301/.375/.472 with 12 homers.


2011 Vestings Options Update

The season started with nine vesting options to watch, but we're down to just five a little beyond the season's halfway point…

  • Trever Miller, Cardinals. The southpaw's $2MM option vests with 45 appearances. He's appeared in 31 of the team's 85 games, so he's on pace for 59. He should get there easily.
  • Alex Cora, Mets. Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 games (not necessarily starts), and he's already appeared in 48. He's on pace for 91 games. Luis Castillo's foot and Ruben Tejada's emergence could stand in Cora's way.
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers. His $3.25MM option will lock in with 59 appearances. He's already appeared in 37 games, so he should get there without a problem.
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds. Hernandez must play in 120 games for his $3.25MM option to vest. He's appeared in just 57 of Cincinnati's first 86 contests, putting him on pace for 107 games. 
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers. Ordonez's $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances. He's on pace for 141 and 615, respectively, so it'll take a lengthy stint on the disabled list to knock him off track.

The vesting options for Kerry Wood, Brian Fuentes, Billy Wagner, and Matt Cain have already been addressed.


2011 Vesting Options Update

11:33am: ESPN's Adam Rubin explained in a chat today that Cora's option vests with 80 games rather than 80 starts.  Cora is on pace to play more than 90 games this year.

8:32am: We entered the season with nine vesting options to watch, but we're already down to five.  Let's take a look.

  • Trever Miller, Cardinals.  The lefty's $2MM option vests with 45 games.  So far he's appeared in 17 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 53.  Miller appeared in ten games in May and is back on track. 
  • Alex Cora, Mets.  Cora's $2MM option vests with 80 starts.  He's started 19 of the team's 52 games, putting him on pace for 59 starts.  Cora will need to make about 15 starts per month from here on out to reach the target.  His 2011 contract may depend on Luis Castillo's foot problems and reduced playing time against righties
  • Darren Oliver, Rangers.  Oliver's $3.25MM option vests with 59 appearances.  He's made 24 in the team's first 50 games, putting him on pace for about 78. 
  • Ramon Hernandez, Reds.  Hernandez's $3.25MM option vests with 120 games played.  He's played in 33 of 52, putting him on pace for 103.  He'll need about 22 games per month to hit the target.  Ryan Hanigan's broken thumb is a factor.
  • Magglio Ordonez, Tigers.  His $15MM option vests with 135 starts or 540 plate appearances.  He's on pace for 156 games and 658 PAs, so even a DL stint wouldn't necessarily prevent Ordonez from locking in his 2011 salary.
  • As a reminder, the vesting options for Brian Fuentes, Billy Wagner, Matt Cain, and Kerry Wood have already been addressed