Because of an ankle injury Magglio Ordonez fell short of the 540 plate appearances needed to trigger his $15 million option for 2011, so the 37-year-old outfielder will be a free agent after six seasons in Detroit.
Earlier this week Ordonez told Venezuelan reporter Augusto Cardenas that he wants to stay with the Tigers after hitting .303/.378/.474 with 12 homers in 84 games this season:
I want to stay in Detroit, obviously. I have my friends, my teammates. I know the organization has been very good to me and the fans have treated me great. I think there’s a great chance to stay in Detroit, but let’s see what happens.
Ordonez also told Cardenas that his ankle is about 90 percent healthy and he hopes to play winter ball in Venezuela for the first time since 2002.
Because he’s a Type A free agent the Tigers could offer arbitration to Ordonez and set themselves up to receive compensatory draft picks if he leaves, but the risk is that Ordonez could also simply accept the arbitration and force them into an expensive one-year deal. He remains an impact hitter, but can’t be counted on for more than 130 games at this point and is a liability defensively.
The Rangers got a bit of a breather on Saturday after clinching the division lead during Friday night’s win. Naturally, it was also a prime opportunity for another of Adrian Beltre‘s well-documented antics, as he spent his off day directing the Rangers’ infield defense with a series of signs. Even with Carlos Beltran‘s help, no one, least of all those playing the infield, appeared to have any idea what Beltre’s gestures were intended to convey.
You can add this to the list of in-game oddities Beltre has become so well-known for over the years, running the gamut from the way he kicked a ball over the foul line to his histrionics every time someone comes close to touching his head. If nothing else, it’s a convincing audition reel for the third baseman’s future in major league coaching — a career path that, I’d imagine, would end up looking something like this:
Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.
It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.
Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.