Scott Boras entered “boy who cried wolf” territory a long time ago when it comes to hyping clients and painting everything about them in the best possible light, but for whatever it’s worth he told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com that Magglio Ordonez is now fully healthy following ankle surgery.
Ordonez missed the final two months of the season with a fractured right ankle, which kept him from accumulating the plate appearances needed for his $15 million option to vest for 2011.
Instead the Tigers declined his option and now he’s a 37-year-old free agent looking for work in a market that includes other right-handed-hitting corner outfielders like Jayson Werth, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Pat Burrell, and Jermaine Dye.
While his age and the ankle injury are major concerns, Ordonez hit .303 with 12 homers and an .859 OPS in 84 prior to fracturing his ankle and has posted an OPS above .800 in 11 of the past 12 years. According to Morosi the Tigers “haven’t ruled out the possibility that Ordonez will return for less money.” However, if he’s truly fully healthy there should be quite a few one-year offers on the table from teams that can’t get into the bidding war for Werth but prefer Ordonez to Guerrero or Ramirez.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.