Results tagged ‘ Magglio Ordonez ’

Sunday: Tigers vs. Phillies

Officially, Magglio Ordonez is day-to-day with a left hamstring spasm he suffered Saturday morning. Unofficially, according to manager Jim Leyland, “He’s fine.”

Likewise, Ordonez indicated it’s nothing serious and isn’t particularly worried about it. He took fly balls during batting practice Sunday, but was held out of Sunday’s game against the Phillies as a precaution.
 
Also, Leyland said Brennan Boesch (back) wanted to play today, but will get the game off.

Your lineups …

TIGERS

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Clete Thomas, RF
  3. Andy Dirks, LF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Bryan Holaday, C
  8. Will Rhymes, 2B
  9. Danny Worth, SS

P: Phil Coke

PHILLIES

  1. Wilson Valdez, CF
  2. Cesar Hernandez, 2B
  3. Ben Francisco, LF
  4. John Mayberry Jr., RF
  5. Robb Quinlan, 1B
  6. Tagg Bozied, DH
  7. Carlos Ruiz, C
  8. Carlos Rivero, 3B
  9. Freddy Galvas, SS

P: Kyle Kendrick

Pickles, pizza, fries, dancing: Welcome to the caravan

The Tigers winter caravan has gotten creative in recent years, from Magglio Ordonez checking in passengers at Detroit Metro Airport last winter to training exercises at the Detroit Fire Department’s academy a couple years ago. This year, the Tigers have some other diversions in store.

Ordonez, who served coffee at a local Starbucks to raise money for charity a couple years ago, will be serving french fries at a local McDonald’s with Jose Valverde. A dance-off at the Compas Artistic Center in Southwest Detroit will pit Valverde (presumably not doing his closer dance) against Tigers broadcaster Rod Allen and others (Magglio, perhaps?). Other players will be serving pizza to the homeless as part of the 25th anniversary of the Little Caesars Love Kitchen. Another bus will take players to the Hausbeck Pickle and Peppers plant in Saginaw.
This year’s caravan runs Thursday and Friday, Jan. 20-21, ahead of TigerFest on Jan. 22. With TigerFest sold out, the caravan might be the one way left for local fans without TigerFest tickets to run into their favorite players. Look for more details in a few days. 
There’s also a non-caravan event with Mud Hens Fandemonium on Wednesday, Jan. 19, which will include Jim Leyland and Rick Porcello. Tickets for that event are still on sale at mudhens.com.

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.

With Werth gone, Boras, Tigers talk Magglio

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
back.

On Tigers and Victor Martinez

The Tigers haven’t had the Major League portion of their end-of-season meetings, the part where they go over their potential roster moves for the offseason and flesh out their wish list. That will come next week here in Detroit. And even then, the Tigers fear tampering accusations enough that they won’t say a whole lot on specific players before free agency gets going and players officially hit the open market. Still, it isn’t difficult to look at the roster as it is now and see a fit for Victor Martinez.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post wasn’t reporting that the Tigers would make a “strong push” for Martinez so much as he was tweeting what he has heard. His name had popped up in someone else’s prose as well earlier this month. But in a market where there are few impact bats and the prices for the top ones are expected to go big, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if the Tigers went after Martinez, so long as he’s willing to fit into the openings the Tigers have.

If he is, he would essentially fill two holes with one signing. The Tigers need a run-producing bat in the middle of the lineup, but they also need a right-handed hitting catcher to back up and/or share at-bats with Alex Avila. The switch-hitting Martinez fits both, having batted .300 with an .846 OPS since 2004 while averaging better than 20 home runs and just under 100 RBIs over a healthy season.

The Tigers are a known commodity for Martinez. He knows the AL Central from his years in Cleveland, and he knows Tigers players both from Venezuela and beyond. And assuming the Tigers end up re-signing Jhonny Peralta, Martinez knows at least one Tiger really well.

The big question, possibly the one that makes or breaks any interest, is how attached Martinez is to catching every day. If it’s a deal-breaker for him, then it could be interesting, not just catching him now at age 32 but down the road in a long-term deal. While Martinez had solid numbers this year catching 110 games in Boston, his reputation as a catcher isn’t all that strong. Tigers pitchers have had the benefit of standout defensive catchers for several years now, and as this past season showed, they’re not used to having to hold runners to give their catcher a chance to throw out a would-be basestealer.

Catching transitions haven’t gone well recently in Detroit. Ivan Rodriguez’s situation turned ugly two years ago once the Tigers talked about splitting starts with Brandon Inge, who didn’t really want to catch anymore in the first place but wanted to play. Simply getting Pudge to take days off was a chore for Alan Trammell and Jim Leyland. Gerald Laird was kind of a forgotten man by season’s end once the Tigers decided to see how Avila would handle everyday duty and were impressed. Dusty Ryan’s late-season audition in 2008 didn’t go well.

The ideal scenario for the Tigers would be to have Martinez catch part-time and DH when he isn’t behind the plate. It gives the Tigers some flexibility next year if Avila struggles, and it fills their DH needs while also leaving some games open there for other guys — maybe Ryan Raburn, maybe Magglio Ordonez if he’s re-signed. But then, with Ordonez coming off ankle surgery, there’s plenty of question how much he can be counted on to play outfield next year. I don’t think the Tigers have the roster flexibility to sign both Martinez and Adam Dunn, more like one or the other. Considering Dunn doesn’t want to be a DH, and reportedly is serious about it (not just a negotiating ploy), it could be a matter of which one is most willing to DH. But can they fit Martinez and Ordonez?

Magglio to play winter ball?

There was no response from the Tigers Thursday to a report that Magglio Ordonez could be playing winter ball this year to prove the recovery of his ankle. But it appears that if Magglio is indeed playing winter ball, it’s news to them.

Especially in Venezuela, this is the time of year when a lot of winter ball rumors pop up. Carlos Guillen seems to pop up in those rumors annually. The reports on Ordonez seem to be varied coming out a media gathering for the Caribes de AnzoŠtegui. After a radio reporter in Venezuela reported that Ordonez could be available as soon as mid-November, the Venezuelan publication Lider en Deportes cited club officials saying Ordonez might be available in early December. Given the recovery timetable for Ordonez following his August ankle surgery, the later report seems more realistic.

Normally, any report of a prominent Major Leaguer under long-term contract playing winter ball has to be taken with a grain of salt. Venezuelan players get a ton of pressure from home to play and help out their respective teams, and a lot of times they’ll leave the possibility open for reporters, knowing that their big-league clubs will be the bad guy and say they can’t play.

Ordonez used to fall under that category. Now, though, he’s a free agent, and there’s a motivation for him to play this winter. If he can how his ankle is healthy and moving around relatively well, he can answer some serious questions, for the Tigers and other teams, while it can still affect contract negotiations. If Ordonez plans on playing in December, and Major League scouts plan to watch him, that backs up the notion that he will not be a quick sign, which seemingly backs up the possibility that the Tigers could move on without him if the right opportunity pops up.

Wanted: One run producer (at least) for Tigers

Miguel Cabrera is a physical presence at 6-foot-4, with a listed weight of 240. In real life, he doesn’t need a whole lot of protection.

In baseball, Miguel Cabrera received 32 intentional walks this season, more than any American League player received since 1993, and more than the next two highest AL totals this year. He could use some protection in the lineup.

In a year when the Tigers have potentially more than $50 million to spend on upgrading the club, protecting Cabrera with at least one proven hitter will be one of team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski’s two biggest goals, if not the biggest.

Help could be in the form of a corner outfielder, of which there are many potentially set to hit the mark. It could be in the form of a designated hitter, and Dombrowski didn’t rule out the idea of going back to a full-time DH again. They could do multiple signings, something Dombrowski hinted at when he talked Sunday about being nimble in this market. But some way, they need to bulk up the heart of the lineup.

“We need a middle of the order bat to drive in runs,” Dombrowski said. “We have to have that. And it’s most likely going to come either in the outfield or at DH, or both, because we already have that type of bat at first base. There are other areas [where it could come], and that’s why we need to be flexible this winter in what we do. But those are the most likely areas that it would come.”

The difference that support makes can be seen in the splits. Cabrera, and in turn the Tigers, were at their best in May, June and early July, when Magglio Ordonez was getting on base in front of Cabrera, and rookie Brennan Boesch was proving to be a potent run producer behind him. His top two months in terms of OPS were May and July, and three of his top four months for RBIs came in that span.

Once opposing pitchers began approaching Boesch differently after the All-Star break, and his amazing production went south, the walk totals on Cabrera logically soared. Once Ordonez suffered his season-ending ankle fracture, of course, Cabrera’s RBI opportunities dipped.

Ordonez’s injury set in motion a lot of moving parts. Once it became clear he wouldn’t get enough at-bats to best his $15 million option, it became the club’s decision whether to pick it up. Dombrowski announced Sunday that they won’t pick it up, making Ordonez a free agent this winter.

The Tigers and Ordonez have mutual interest in working out a deal, but it’s going to take some creativity, beyond simply the contract terms. The Tigers have to look at Ordonez’s recovery from ankle surgery as it goes along and project how much time he can realistically play in the field at age 37.

“At this point, I don’t know how much you consider him being an outfielder compared to also where it fits into [him] being a DH,” Dombrowski said. “I think you have two spots you’re talking about, and see where eventually he kind of fits into that.”
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If the Tigers re-sign Ordonez, Dombrowski indicated, it likely wouldn’t be their only signing. But if Ordonez is back, can they still sign someone for the DH slot, or would they need that fifth hitter to play the outfield at least some?

For what it’s worth, Dombrowski’s comments indicate he’s more open to having a full-time DH again than he might’ve been, say, two years ago with an older lineup.

“I guess you’d prefer not to,” Dombrowski said, “but would we consider that? I think we’ll consider anything that gives us some offense in the middle of the lineup at this time, that we think we need, somebody that can drive in some runs. Ideally you’d prefer not to have it, but if that’s the way it fit in, that’s the way it fit in.

“One thing is that we don’t have as many players going forward that are older. I mean, we’ve kind of turned into a little bit younger club. So most guys can go out there and play most days. You might look to give a day off to somebody once in a while, and then [manager Jim Leyland] can decide who he wants to DH at that particular time, but we don’t have a lot of older players. … If the right guy fit, we’d sign a DH.”

Dombrowski said the Tigers would prefer to add at least one left-handed bat to their lineup. That could come internally, if Carlos Guillen is ready for the start of the season after microfracture surgery, or if Boesch wins an expected competition for an outfield spot. More likely, though, they’d like one of the bats they sign to come from the left side.

That shouldn’t be a big problem to find on the free-agent market, where the top end could potentially include slugger Adam Dunn and multi-tooled catalyst Carl Crawford, among others. Dunn, specifically, would seem to fit a DH type of role, though he has told reporters in Washington he’d rather not do that full-time.

Dombrowski isn’t getting into any names at this point, other than the guys on his team, but he believes there’s enough on the free-agent market for them to find help. He also has players on the team who can supplement that.

One of those guys is Ryan Raburn, who might finally be poised for close to an everyday role. Dombrowski stopped just shy of labeling him as such, but made it clear he has stepped up in importance to the lineup.

“I don’t know if he’ll be an everyday outfielder or not, but I think we feel he could be a primary guy,” Dombrowski said. “How many at-bats that entails, I don’t know. It depends on who else is with our club at that time, how the manager makes out the lineup, how he produces. But we look at him as being an important part of our team, and a guy that’s going to play a lot. I wouldn’t say he’s an everyday outfielder yet, but he’s going to play a lot.”

Cabrera: Magglio wants to return to Tigers

Magglio Ordonez has pulled a vanishing act from Comerica Park since his season-ending ankle surgery a month ago, but he’s kept in touch through teammates such as Miguel Cabrera. And Cabrera told reporters Wednesday his good friend and veteran hitter wants to be back next season, even if he ends up a free agent this winter.
“I’ve talked to him,” Cabrera said. “He said he feels better. He wants so bad to play, but his injury, he feels bad. He wants to come back next year here. He wants to stay here.”
Whether the Tigers front office feels the same remains to be seen, and it represents one of the biggest decisions they have to make this offseason. It became their choice when Ordonez fractured his right ankle on a slide at the plate July 24. The resulting time missed ensured he wouldn’t end the season with enough plate appearances to vest the final year of his contract.
Thus, his $15 million option for 2011 became a team option that they must either pick up or decline in the days after the World Series ends. If they decline it, Ordonez becomes a free agent, able to sign with any team, including re-signing with the Tigers, for whatever salary he and agent Scott Boras can negotiate with a club.
“And I want him to be back,” Cabrera added. “Excellent hitter, great player, great teammate.”
After six seasons in Detroit, Ordonez has almost as much time here as he did with the White Sox, where he spent the first seven years of his career. His signing with the Tigers in January 2005 was a huge deal for a team still on the rebound from years of futility, and his walkoff home run in Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS stands as one of the biggest homers in franchise history.
Ordonez and his family have also become personally involved with the city. They established a scholarship fund for deserving students in Detroit’s primarily Hispanic southwestern neighborhoods, and Magglio made a donation to help refurbish a baseball field in the city.
At age 37, moving the family for a summer might not be the most appealing option. 
“It would be good if he’s back next year,” Cabrera said. “They love him here. The city loves him here. They love Magglio. He’s got to grow the hair again.”

Magglio to undergo season-ending ankle surgery

Tigers All-Star outfielder Magglio Ordonez will undergo surgery Wednesday to stabilize his fractured right ankle, a procedure that erases any possibility he had of returning this season.

With that operation now set, it’s possible that the July 24 slide into home plate on which Ordonez suffered his injury will be the final play in his illustrious Tigers tenure.

Ordonez spent Tuesday in Los Angeles visiting with Dr. Philip Kwong, a foot and ankle specialist at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic. The doctor measured the healing in Ordonez’s ankle that has taken place in the month since the injury and recommended surgery.

It isn’t a major procedure, but it’ll require enough recovery time that he won’t be able to come back in September as previously hoped. The original timetable on Ordonez’s recovery was 4-6 weeks, but the fact that Ordonez was still on crutches after his follow-up exam last week in Detroit put that very much in doubt.

Ordonez is expected to be fully recovered in time for next season. Where he’ll be playing next season, though, is anyone’s guess. When asked about Ordonez’s contract situation, team president/general manager Dombrowski said Tuesday night that any discussion on any players for next season won’t take place until the end of this season, an organizational policy.

If the Tigers decline Ordonez’s option, he would become a free agent this winter. They could still try to re-sign him as a lower salary, though Ordonez could still try to test the market to see what offers he can get from other teams. Teams have a 15-day period after the end of the season in which they hold exclusive rights to negotiate with their own free agents.

The 36-year-old Ordonez was batting .303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs this year at the time of the injury. His loss has had a big impact on the Tigers lineup, where he would usualy be batting in front of AL MVP candidate Miguel Cabrera.

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