Magglio Ordonez has said he wants to return to the Detroit Tigers, but coming to agreement on a new contract is not going to be a simple process.
As expected, Ordonez’s agent Scott Boras is going to do his best to create a market for his client. And according to Boras, that market is already growing.
“We’ve gotten a lot of early calls,” Boras said. “I think with this marketplace, the right-handed hitters of that ilk, like Magglio, there’s going to be a very strong demand for them.”
Boras might actually be right about that. Among free agent right-handed hitting outfielders, Ordonez might be the best available hitter after Jayson Werth. Do teams consider Pat Burrell, Manny Ramirez or Vladimir Guerrero viable outfield options anymore?
Before suffering a season-ending broken ankle injury, Ordonez was having a fine season. He batted .303/.378/.474 with 12 home runs and 59 RBIs in 365 plate appearances.
Something that could affect Ordonez’s value on the open market, of course, is that ankle's recovery. But Ordonez said the ankle is about 90 percent healed, and Boras asserts it wasn’t even a major fracture to begin with.
“I think a lot is being made of a standard fracture, what a lot of orthopedic surgeons say is a minor fracture,” Boras said. “There’s no issue with flexibility, weight bearing, anything like that. It was really just a very simple fracture. It simply took some time to heal. This was not a complicated event. There really will not be any time frame where teams will wait and see if he has any trouble performing.”
By building up his client, Boras is obviously doing his job. Ordonez will likely get less per year than the $15 million option the Tigers declined. But he could still get up to $10 million, and might even find a team interested in giving him a multi-year contract.
And if that’s what he and Boras hold out for, it could be a while before he finds that agreement. Just ask Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn how the free agent market worked out for them over the past couple of years.