Magglio basepaths

Surprise! Scott Boras says there’s a lot of interest in Magglio Ordonez

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The air is crisp, the leaves are turning and Scott Boras is busy talking up his clients. All is right with the world.

According to Jason Beck of MLB.com, Boras said he has already heard some early interest in his client Magglio Ordonez.

“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.”

The Tigers recently declined Ordonez’s $15 million for 2011, making him a free agent. The option would have almost certainly vested due to number of plate appearances, but Ordonez fractured his right ankle on a slide into home plate on July 24 and underwent season-ending surgery at the end of August.

For what it’s worth, Boras doesn’t expect the surgery to have an impact on his client finding a new team.

“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.”

Ordonez, who turns 37 in January, batted .303/.378/.474 with 12 home runs, 59 RBI and an 852 OPS in 365 plate appearances this past season.

He has never had the reputation as a defensive whiz to begin with, so the number of National League teams willing to give him a full-time job in right field will probably a bit limited. That being said, Ordonez is still one of the best lefty-killers around, so he makes plenty of sense as a outfielder/DH-type back in the American League, possibly even with the Tigers. Expecting anything more than a one-year deal would probably be pushing it, but this is Scott Boras we are talking about.

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.