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 Reds have signed free agent reliever Oliver Perez to a minor-league contract, the team announced Saturday. The deal comes with a major-league invite and could be worth $1.25 million if Perez secures a roster spot this spring, with an additional $500,000 in potential performance bonuses.
Perez, 36, is coming off of a two-year run with the Nationals. He produced a 4.64 ERA, 3.3 BB/9 an d10.6 SO/9 through 50 relief appearances and 33 innings with the club in 2017. The veteran lefty hasn’t kept an ERA under 4.00 in at least four seasons, but he continues to be undeniably solid against left-handed batters, holding them to a .227/.301/.364 batting line over 18 1/3 innings last year.
While returning southpaw Wandy Peralta appears to have locked down a bullpen spot already, Perez will still compete for another role against fellow left-handers Cody Reed and Amir Garrett, both of whom also have experience in the rotation. If Perez doesn’t break camp with the team, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon notes, he’ll be permitted to opt out of his contract. The Reds are currently looking to bounce back from a dismal performance in 2017, one in which their bullpen ranked 28th among major league teams with a collective 5.63 ERA and -1.2 fWAR.