December 8th, 2010

Magglio holds private workout for Tigers

UPDATED at 8:15 pm: The Tigers watched Magglio Ordonez move around on his surgically repaired right ankle in a private workout Wednesday morning. What it means for the market on the free-agent outfielder remains to be seen.

Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski confirmed the Tigers were represented, a statement agent Scott Boras made earlier in the day. No other club was represented or invited, though neither the Tigers nor Boras confirmed that.

“We had a workout today with Magglio where he got a chance to illustrate where he got a chance to illustrate just where his baseball abilities were at,” Boras said. “That took place this morning. Teams got to see that. I really don’t know [how many teams] because I haven’t gotten the report. I know that Detroit was there for sure.”

The workout took place in central Florida, close to the site of baseball’s Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort. Dombrowski wouldn’t offer an assessment or any other details.

Boras spoke with reporters in the hallways of the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort, where baseball’s Winter Meetings are taking place this week. He spoke about a number of players, including the just-signed Carlos Pena, but his remarks on Ordonez became a popular topic.

The workout for Ordonez was meant to demonstrate the health of his surgically repaired ankle, which Boras has said in recent weeks is fully healed and has allowed him to adopt a normal workout regimen. It would make sense that the Tigers would want to check out his health, especially with Ordonez and Boras looking for a two-year contract.

One reason the Tigers were so cautious about Ordonez’s recovery back in August was the nature of the broken ankle. It was a vertical fracture up and down the ankle, rather than across. Putting weight on the ankle too soon could hamper the recovery, team medical officials said back then.

Dombrowski’s confirmation was the first statement he has made on Ordonez in at least two weeks. The Tigers had gone into silence about their interest in Ordonez, his health, and contract negotiations, citing new baseball rules limiting their comments about free agents. However, they’re known to be interested.

Ordonez is seeking at least a two-year deal, according to a source. Boras wouldn’t confirm that Wednesday, preferring to let the market decide, but he indicated the market on Ordonez has grown in recent days since Jayson Werth’s seven-year deal with the Nationals.

“Magglio is a guy that has gotten a lot of interest from a lot of teams now that Jayson has signed,” said Boras. “He’s a middle of the [order] guy. He’s had a great batting average, been a productive guy, he’s a veteran player and he’s a winner. There are a lot of things about Magglio Ordonez where he fits a broad base of teams. Once Jayson signed, a lot of the teams interested in Jayson are now interested in Magglio.”

Tigers watch Magglio workout

Scott Boras held a very long interview session with reporters today after Carlos Pena’s press conference for his new deal with the Cubs. Among the topics was Magglio Ordonez, whom Boras said was working out for teams today. Among the teams set to be in attendance, not surprisingly, were the Tigers, who set up his rehab process after his broken ankle in late July led to season-ending surgery.

Boras said there’s a good market going for Ordonez’s services, which might lead to a deal sooner rather than later. Still, it doesn’t sound like any deal for Ordonez is imminent.

Lefty relief not a pressing priority right now

The Tigers have been touching base with agents for left-handed relievers and keeping tabs on the market, but the impression among folks at the Winter Meetings is that they’re not going to move on anybody in that category anytime soon. They’ve shown some interest in free agents J.C. Romero and Ron Mahay, according to sources, but nothing has gotten far. Given Dave Dombrowski’s recent remarks that Daniel Schlereth could be their No. 1 lefty reliever, it seems to reinforce that notion.

As I’ve written before, the free-agent market has had no shortage of left-handers available late in the winter as Spring Training approaches. Though Detroit’s deal for Joaquin Benoit brought some question whether the market would speed up, that doesn’t seem to be the case for left-handers.