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.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.