Results tagged ‘ Jayson Werth ’
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.”
The Tigers were rumored among the most serious suitors for Jayson Werth, who just signed a seven-year, $126 million deal with the Nationals. But team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said their interest didn’t go very far.
“The majority, and just short of all of that, was strictly paper talk,” Dombrowski said. “We never had any serious conversations on Jayson Werth. Not one. And the reality of it is, when we prioritized our players, we had Victor Martinez up there, that we pursued. And just preliminary conversations, very preliminary, where they talk in generalities, the dollar numbers and years were just not appealing to us.
“That’s why sometimes you move quickly in other directions to do things. For us, it just made more sense to move in the direction that we did.”
The Tigers had barely arrived here at baseball’s Winter Meetings on
Sunday when the Jayson Werth signing made waves through the Walt Disney
World Swan & Dolphin Resort. It could have a major effect on what
the Tigers do here once business begins in earnest on Monday.
That includes a potential reunion with Magglio Ordonez, which now looks
more viable than ever. The Tigers’ best shot at an offensive upgrade
might well be a return of their former batting champion.
“I certainly know we’ll be talking,” agent Scott Boras said of the Tigers and Ordonez.
Boras made the comment after the Nationals announced their seven-year
deal with Werth, whom Boras also represents. Washington reportedly
outbid other interested teams by offering a longer contract at an
average of $18 million per season.
The Tigers have been viewed around baseball as among the most interested
teams in Werth. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski,
however, said they weren’t in the bidding.
“We were not involved,” Dombrowski told MLB.com in an email Sunday.
Boras told MLB.com that he talked with Dombrowski quite a bit this week,
on Ordonez and other topics. He said they agreed that they would
continue their conversations here. It’s worth noting that Boras also
represents reliever Zach Miner, whom the Tigers designated for
assignment last week but whom the Tigers would be interested in bringing
The Tigers still see a need for a right-handed bat in the middle of their lineup, and right field is the one opening they see where they can add that. They would like to bring back Magglio Ordonez, but agent Scott Boras is expected to wait until after the top free-agent outfielders sign and set the standards before progressing on Ordonez. One of those top-tier outfielders is Jayson Werth, whom Boras also represents.
Put it together, and the Tigers can check in about Werth while still keeping their options open on Magglio. With still around $30 million of payroll space left from the $60 million or so they shed in expiring contracts, they have the financial wiggle room for it. The Tigers have already been keeping in touch with Boras this offseason about Ordonez, and Dombrowski said after the Martinez signing that his team would regroup this week and look at their options.
Get the picture? Thus, let the Jayson Werth sweepstakes begin.
It might not be the same courtship the Tigers enjoyed with Victor Martinez, but Werth is the most logical fit among the top free-agent hitters left on the market. Even if the Tigers have every intention of trying to re-sign Ordonez, they’ve been expected to look into Werth.
ESPN’s Jayson Stark listed Detroit among the half-dozen or so teams with varying levels of interest in Werth. Foxsports.com’s Jon Morosi cited Major League sources who see the Tigers among the Red Sox and Phillies as the most serious suitors for Werth. Both reports list the Red Sox as the favorites.
No deal is expected anytime soon, which Stark confirms. The most logical plan for Werth is to wait until Carl Crawford signs, either with the Angels or elsewhere, and see how that impact other teams’ interest. Because after Crawford and Werth, Magglio is the next-highest rated outfielder on a lot of lists.
If Werth is looking for a six-year deal, as a report suggested, that could test the level of the Tigers’ interest. Detroit already has its DH spot sealed for the next four years with Martinez, so any long-term deal they add would have to be for somebody who can play the field for the vast majority of that contract. Werth has very good defensive tools for right field, including a strong arm, and has been an iron man with 315 games over the last two years for Philadelphia, but they would have to make sure he can stay healthy.
Now that the Tigers have re-signed Jhonny Peralta, they can turn their attention to other teams’ free agents as they try to fill their offseason needs. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski’s comments Monday morning suggested they aren’t wasting any time getting to that.
“I think we’ve reached a point where we know what we’re going to do,” Dombrowski said on a conference call with reporters to discuss the Peralta deal, “and it would give me no benefit to tell you exactly what our plan is. We know what our thought process is. We know where we want to go. We’re moving in that direction. … For us, we’ve started the process, and that means that at times you’re already talking to people at this time.”
Judging from those remarks, it’s safe to say that the Tigers are reaching out to agents at this point. That doesn’t mean they’re close on anything, or that any top free agents are going to sign quickly. The deadline for teams to offer arbitration to free agents, and thus put themselves in line for compensation if those players sign elsewhere, isn’t for another 2 1/2 weeks. More than anything, it means the Tigers are reacting to the sped-up timeframe and deadlines of this offseason compared to previous ones, and that the Tigers are trying to be nimble on their feet, as Dombrowski put it last month.
“I do know that [the new deates] will expedite it because it has expedited it for us,” Dombrowski said. “We have already had meetings and are prepared to move forward on some situations.”
The Tigers had the Major League portion of their end-of-season meetings two weeks ago in Detroit. That’s where team officials and scouts go over evaluate the free-agent and potential trade markets and prioritize.
With openings at the DH slot and both corner outfield positions, plus at-bats available for a catcher to at least face left-handed starting pitchers, the Tigers have a lot of roster flexibility for a team in the market for a top offensive free agent. Anyone from catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez to first baseman Adam Dunn and outfielders Carl Crawford and Jayson Werth could fit into the Tigers’ plans.
The Tigers have the flexibilty to react and rebound if and when free agents sign elsewhere and get crossed off their list. But first, they need something to react to.