Last month the Tigers declined their $15 million option on Magglio Ordonez for 2011, but after shopping around for a new team Ordonez has decided to return to Detroit on a one-year deal worth two-thirds the salary.
Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Ordonez turned down two-year offers elsewhere to re-sign for $10 million, citing his loyalty to Tigers owner Mike Ilitch. That may be true, but $10 million for one year is the same deal Carlos Pena got from the Cubs and several other veteran corner outfielders and designated hitters signed for less, so it’s hardly a big discount for the 37-year-old.
Ordonez can still hit at age 37, batting .303/.378/.474 this season and a combined .311/.376/.466 over the past three seasons, but he missed the final 65 games of the year with a fractured ankle and had become a liability defensively even before suffering the injury in late July. Victor Martinez’s presence makes hiding Ordonez’s glove at DH unlikely, but the Tigers are willing to give up some defense to keep another big bat in the lineup.
The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.
Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.
The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.
Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.
The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.