Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press has a new column about the Magglio Ordonez situation. It's bad enough that the 35 year-old right fielder is off to a .241/.331/.304 start in 127 plate appearances. The other issue is that his 2010 option for $18MM vests if Ordonez reaches 457 total plate appearances this year. He's got just 330 to go, with a current pace of 4.2 per game.
It'd take serious manipulation by Jim Leyland to prevent Ordonez from getting those 330 additional plate appearances. Rosenberg figures that'd result in a grievance by the players union and Scott Boras. Ordonez also has a $15MM vesting option for 2011 based on playing time in 2009 and/or 2010.
How about releasing him? Ignoring deferred money, Ordonez is guaranteed another $14.5MM this year plus a $3MM buyout for 2010. Eating $17.5MM now beats paying Ordonez the remaining $14.5MM for this year and the $18MM for '10. Would that result in a grievance, or are the Tigers free to release him and only be on the hook for this year plus the 2010 buyout?