Free Agent outfielder Magglio Ordonez worked out for the Detroit Tigers today in order to show that his surgically repaired broken ankle was 100 percent. Ordonez has been a top target for the Tigers since the season ended despite their declining his option and not offering arbitration.
Among those with interest in Ordonez are the Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, and Orioles, according to multiple reports. While Texas is said to be viewing Ordonez as a plan-b should they fail to re-sign Vladimir Guerrero, Boston is said to have ramped up efforts to sign the aging outfielder. All indications are that the Tigers remain Magglio’s first choice. He joined the Tigers as a free agent before the 2005 season and has been a staple in the three-hole ever since.
Ordonez’s agent, Scott Boras, spoke with the media today and is touting Ordonez as one of the best hitters available. He’s right. Jon Paul Morosi has tweeted that Boras is said to be seeking two years and $20 million for Magglio.
Given that the workout was held for the sole benefit of the Tigers, this seems to be a good sign. Had the workout included other teams, I’d be a bit more worried about the possibility of losing him. As it stands, it would appear that the mutual interest that had been well-documented still exists.
That said, Boras doesn’t usually work quickly in getting his clients signed. As the days drag out and other clubs see their targets sign elsewhere, the market for his services could grow.
The Tigers have been exploring trade options should the Ordonez negotiations end without him signing with the Tigers, but word is that Ryan Ludwick has been pulled off the market by the Padres and the Nationals are said to be seeking a huge return for Josh Willingham. Neither player is as good as Ordonez, anyway.
To me, the only positive outcome for the Tigers at this point, short of shocking the world with a Carl Crawford signing, is to bite the bullet and pay Ordonez the money he seeks. Most had pegged Maggs to make anywhere from $7-10 million on a one year deal, maybe with an option attached. A two year contract certainly wouldn’t be the end of the world for the Tigers instead.