Free Agent Option: Magglio Ordonez – Phillies Nation
2010-11 Free Agency

Free Agent Option: Magglio Ordonez

His eyes had to light up. After Scott Boras realized the Nationals were going to give Jayson Werth a seven-year, $126 million contract, it became clear one of his other clients, Magglio Ordonez, would be getting paid as well.

Prior to that deal, many were unsure how the market would unfold for the talented, yet aging, hitter. Ordonez, soon-to-be 37, is coming off a fractured ankle that ended his 2010 season prematurely. With Detroit last year, he batted .303 with 12 home runs and 59 RBI in 84 games. His .852 OPS was slightly below his career average, although his .378 on-base percentage was slightly above his usual levels.

Boras understands the free agent crop of outfielders is thin and he’ll do his best to cash in on that, even though Ordonez is slowly headed toward being at least a part-time DH. In ’10, he played 71 of his 84 games in the field, however, his age will soon make him a liability with the glove. Ordonez has never been flashy out there, anyway. And, in three of the last five seasons, his UZR has been a negative number.

Now, to that contract he and his agent will be angling for. Early word is, the Ordonez/Boras team want somewhere in the two-year, $20 million neighborhood. The Tigers are considered the front runner, but the Phillies absolutely have to make an inquiry. An issue moving forward for the Phillies would be their surrendering of a first round draft pick due to Ordonez’s type-A status. Is Ruben Amaro willing to give that up for a 36-year old outfielder that has a slowly fading bat and isn’t all that great in the outfield? Seems unlikely at this point. Still, don’t count them out entirely.

The need for a right-handed bat is fairly high after Jayson Werth defected to Washington. Is it high enough to spend $10 million per season, plus bring in another older player? Ordonez could very well have two more solid seasons left in him, especially playing in a smaller park than in Detroit and in a very good offense.

It’s not an easy decision. Ordonez could bring them middle of the order stability on a short-term contract. After all, he has hit .300 or better in each of the last four seasons and hasn’t hit less than .290 since his rookie year of 1998.

On the other hand, Ordonez could easily age quickly like Raul Ibanez, leaving two obstacles to overcome in the outfield. Basically, it all comes down to the asking price and the loss of a draft pick.

Chances: He’s one of the better, more talented hitters on the market, but his age is clearly an issue. So is the contract he wants. We’ll settle for 4/10 Ruben Head’s just because Ordonez is so potent with the bat.



  1. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 8:21 am


    he could be like Raul Ibanez and help the Phillies get to the postseason 2 years in a row.

    I would sacrifice the so-so glove for that bat of his. Of all the options still out there not named Ben Francisco, Maggs probably is the one guy that COULD make enough of a difference. Ruben will probably have to overpay a bit….although 2/20 is too much. And I would imagine that he would have to give him 2 years guaranteed. I wonder if 2/15 gets it done??

    I think you have to be somewhat assertive here and no let the opportunity go by easily. But if it doesn’t work out I’m ok with starting the season with Raul, Vic, Brown(?), Francisco and Gload.

  2. Pat Gallen

    December 13, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Chuck, I dont get how he helped the team make the playoffs? He was a shade above being a replacement level player last season, meaning any Joe Schmoe could have stepped in there and done his job.

    And in 2009, he had an incredible first half and a really bad second half. I wouldn’t exactly put him on my shoulders and say he was the reason. I will say in ’09 he had his hand in it a little more than a year ago.

    Anyway, if Maggs takes 2/15, it won’t be here. I’d think he might take that to go back to DET, but that’s just an educated guess. Plus it’s tough to bring him in making this outfield super old.

  3. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Pat, with all due respect, this year when Howard, Utley, Rollins, Vic were all flirting with the DL and/or struggling….Raul stepped up in a big way after the AS break.

    I think I said in an earlier thread last week that he “carried the team”. Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch, but over his last 70 games he had a .309 BA/ .375 OBP/.494 SLG/.869 OPS.

    That’s well above the team’s numbers for that same period: .266/.342/.413/.755

    I think he’s a major reason that the Phillies had that hot period late in the season. “Carried” the team?? Not exactly. Major contributor and a major reason they got to to the playoffs? Yes.

    Just my opinion.

  4. Pat Gallen

    December 13, 2010 at 9:00 am

    He certainly looked better in the 2nd half, but those splits were closer to his career average than the 1st half numbers. I think his first half was so bad, anything he did in the 2nd half would have been incredible.

    But alas…do you think it makes sense to add another older outfielder like Ordonez?

  5. The Dipsy

    December 13, 2010 at 9:12 am

    Chuck, not just respected, but beloved poster, your perceived worth of Ibanez is somewhat inflated. He tore it up the first half of ’09. What a player. Then he played very well the last half of last year. I don’t think you can go as far as to say that we wouldn’t have made the playoffs without him. Ibanez is a grinder and and a veteran and a good dude and I have respect for him. I also have a lot of respect for the fact that he knows that his bat is slowing down and he is taking walks and he is very often just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere as opposed to trying to hit a homer. He is not a good fielder no matter how hard he tries. Bottom line: Raul is getting older and becoming more limited and makes too much money (which is not his fault). While he has inadequacies, perhaps you, like me, find it very hard to dislike him because of how solid a guy he his.

    The Dipsy

  6. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I don’t know. I’ve sort of wrestled with that thought in my mind quite a bit. On the one hand, the Phillies need to get younger. Adding someone like Ordonez goes against that idea. But IF he can make a real difference in that lineup, I’m all for it for 2 years while D Brown develops.

    And I’m ok with Ben Fran, too. Given enough playing time, I would certainly think he can produce. It just seems to me like he’s almost chomping at the bit to play more. Would a .275 avg, 20 HR and 70-80 RBI be enough to say that Francisco is the best option?

    And putting Gload in the mix wouldn’t be bad from an offensive standpoint, but I worry about HIS defense in the outfield. There were a few plays last year that he downright butchered out there.

  7. The Dipsy

    December 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Pat – I don’t think adding an older player is a big deal for this team. It makes sense. The hired gun to rip some line drives. This is especially true if its just a one year deal or a one with an option. I think this is our man.

    The Dipsy

  8. George

    December 13, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I may be the only one, but I think adding Ordonez would be a stupid move. He’ll want too much money and too many years (even two would be too many given his age). I wouldn’t risk any more money on antiques; a Victorian cane chair might look really good, but you also might fall through the seat. He’ll cost a draft pick, too, and that’s something the Phils can definitely not afford with all their aging stars.

  9. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 9:21 am

    Dipsy, ABSOLUTELY beloved contributor and poster….I have retracted my statement from last week that basically said that Raul “carried the team” the second half of last year. That’s probably a bit of an inflated opinion, saying that he all by himself lifted the team on his back for 2 months.

    BUT…is it not true that while a lot of the rest of the team was either injured or struggling that he was consistent at the plate? Would we have made the playoffs without him?? Maybe. Or maybe not. Maybe Ben Fran could have put up the same…or better… numbers over those last 70 games. I don’t know. But what I DO know is that he was a MAJOR contributor to the Phillies surge.

  10. Gaze_NJ

    December 13, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Maggs’ numbers are exactly the kind of figures I’d love to see in RF next year… I just wish it didn’t require signing a 36 year old to get them. While a .300+ hitter with a .375+ OBP would do amazing things in this lineup, I’m not willing to give up the cash, draft pick, or multiple years for someone of that age. Though, if we didn’t have a similar aged player in left field, my tune would be different.

  11. Ryk

    December 13, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Chuck and the Dipsy playing nice? Must be Christmastime. 🙂

  12. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 10:33 am

    It’s. The. Most. Wonderful. Time. Of. The. Year.

  13. The Dipsy

    December 13, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Chucky Baby Chucky baby Chucky baby. Yes, you and I can agree that he was a model of consistency, stability, and performance for the second half of last year. I could see his approach at the plate start to change and it paid off. I rip the fact that Raul is our left fielder because of how he fits into our payroll scheme (how’s that for diplomacy?) but he is a quality guy. Believe it or not, in the solitude of my own home, I actually root for Raul when’s he’s up.

    The Dipsy

  14. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Do you think his approach at the plate changed because a) it was just a normal adjustment period that all hitters go through?….or….b) that he was maybe more fully healed from his injury in 2009?…..or…c) both?

  15. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 11:16 am

    First off – money. Every year since 2006, the Phils have picked up an impact player who contributed to a strong finish. Having some payroll flexibility is key.
    2nd – defense. Shane is a good defensive center fielder (his lines are getting better, and his wheels often make up for bad first steps). He can’t play the whole field. We’ve got 4 starting rhp – we’re mostly going to see the left handed platoon players. The next right fielder should at least be decent.
    3rd – bat. What are you really looking for? If you could get a BA of 275, on base about 330, 20+ homers with a rh bat, you’re doing pretty well. Turn the line-up over, get a big hit here and there.
    4th – while young would be nice, we need at least a durable player.

    While his bat is better, Mags is bad on d, will be expensive (he’ll go to the AL for less, with a chance to dl at least part time), and hasn’t been particularly durable the last 5 years. personally, I don’t think his potential at the plate makes up for his downside.

    I haven’t seen a suggestion that is an improvement over Ben Fran. Sure, he doesn’t carry that big stick, but the offense will run on guys getting on base for Howard and Utley.

    Start the season with Ben Fran, platoon with Brown when/if he’s ready, and keep your eyes open for a cheap rh bat who plays decent defense (I still like Milledge).

  16. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

    d – his bat speed is slower, he became healthy enough to compensate.

    I think Raul will hit his share of doubles this year (many to the alley in left), but will just creep into double digit home runs. Like his whole career, he’ll have streaks when he can’t buy a hit, other periods where he’ll crush the ball into the gaps. Unless he’s going up against a pure power pitcher (where he can guess on pitches), his days of being a pull hitter are likely gone.

  17. betasigmashag

    December 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I do not see the love affair with this guy, he defense is not much better then Raul, if at all, and with the Rotation they have on paper, defense is going to be huge factor in the out come of many games. All of the top three inn Doc/Cole/Little Roy are more likly to pitch to contact. They do strike out their fair share, especially for Doc he likes to keep his pitch count down and that means that means balls in play. If you have an outfield of Mags, Raul, and Vic no matter how good the that might be offensivly will not be the best for the team. Maybe for the regular season a team like that would be really good, but you win playoff games with pitching and defense.
    I have said it before if you are looking for a one year stop gap you have you have it in Ben Fran, and not Gload he is worse then any one in RF. If you can find some 3/4 year solution then you can pay them, lose a draft pick. But a year fix with a poor defensive fielder is not an option I would like them go with

  18. Dan

    December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I don’t think Magglio is worth the money or the draft pick. His health and age are also concerns. I think the best option is internal. Among all the many candidates to play rightfield- Werth, Diaz, Fransisco, Gload, Francouer- the best option is Brown. That spot is his to lose as far as I’m concerned. If he has a good spring pair him up with Ben in a platoon. If he has a bad spring, let Ben and Ross play right or shift Vic to right and let Mike Martinez play center. Keep an eye on Brown and when he puts together 3 or 4 solid weeks for Sandberg, call him up. Give him 2 or 3 years to prove that he’s the man. If he fails, then you turn elsewhere. If he succeeds, then you have another member of your core and the possibilty of being able to navigate the phasing out process of the older stars currently on the roster.

  19. Geoff

    December 13, 2010 at 11:39 am

    There really arent many good options at all. They kind of look like they dont have a plan whatsoever. The only thing that will prove they have a plan is WHEN they pull some big slick move out of nowhere which is what I expect.

  20. The Original Chuck P

    December 13, 2010 at 11:45 am

    Hey all… been a while (due to reasons out of my control).

    Have always loved Maggs (he’s a likeable player) but you have to understand that he has no power at this point and his tools/skillset is somewhat limited. Hit 9 HR in 2009 and 12 HR in 2010. He’s still quite capable of hitting .300 but the power is gone and he has no speed so where does he bat in this lineup? He’s also an average defender (at best). Benny Fresh would be a better stop gap.

    Frankly, I think that we’re all a little stir crazed with the RH OF thing. More than anything, we just need our guys to get (and stay) healthy. We also have to focus on getting Dom Brown right in time for September. We’re going to make it into the postseason with our pitching; the big picture is that we need Brown in September.

    He has all of the tools to fill the void that we lose with the departure of Werth.

    It would be nice if we had a RH OF but I think that it’s more important that we have a RH bench bat that is capable. I don’t think that player has to be an outfielder. I think that we have enough OF to manage.

    Let’s assume we don’t make any major additions – maybe we consider moving Vic or J-Roll down into the 5 spot (J-Roll, Polly, Utley, Howard, Vic, Brown, Ibanez, Chooch). I know that people don’t love Jimmy in that leadoff spot but I still think that his base running ability makes it tough not to put him there. If he gets on base and steals second, all Polly has to do is hit one into the gap and Jimmy’s coming home.

  21. The Original Chuck P

    December 13, 2010 at 11:46 am

    Juan Rivera?

  22. jonnyboy

    December 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    signing magglio ordonez would be a terrible idea. can you imagine all the ground out there that victorino would have to cover being sandwiched in between two 37 year olds??

    One year deal-maybe. But then we lose a first round pick for a one night stand. Two years-and we risk being stuck with a problem bigger than ibanez

  23. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Welcome back OCP – agree that the need for a RH super bat is overstated, and am fine with Ben Fran or an equivalent. Rivera is kind of like Mags without the bat control – might have a little more power, but will probably bat around 0.260, and is a disaster in the field (makes Ibanez look good).

    At the plate, Jimmy or Vic seem pretty much interchangeable – both awful against rhp, pretty good against lefties. Vic may have a slightly better obp, but I think he will suffer more on the base paths from losing Lopes. Start Jimmy there unless the calf isn’t fully healed.

  24. Manny

    December 13, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Question: IF the Phillies go after Magglio, would we lose OUR first round pick? Or would we give up the pick we would’ve gotten from losing Werth (supposed to be first-round but ended up being lower because of the Nats’ protection).

  25. The Original Chuck P

    December 13, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    I think we lose our pick, Manny. We get a pick from the Nationals and then we lose ours…

    I think that Maggs is a good guy but given the limited role that he would play and the question marks surrounding what Boras might be asking for (and what he can actually give us at this stage in his career), it’s tough to envision this one happening.

  26. George

    December 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I believe you lose your own pick, not the pick from the team that signed Werth.

  27. Don M

    December 13, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    a little late to the party, but .. in the minority, like Chuck, I always feel the need to defend Ibanez because that signing was WIDELY criticized at the time . . . . then people shut up about it when he had an MVP first half … then it started again when he was hurt . . . then people wanted to release him?.. then people shut up about it last year when he started driving in runs in bunches when others weren’t . . . then people wanted to trade him again, etc..

    He basically gets a bad rap, and doesn’t deserve it..

    That said.. if Magglio can be had at 2 years, $20 Million … i’d sign him today. Ibanez’s contract comes off the books next year (so too might Oswalt). Magglio is one of the very few options that could hit #5 …and depending on who we have besides Francisco.. we might be able to jump to big leads this year, and do the defensive subs routine

    I’m a big fan of Ordonez being worth the gamble, but my gut is telling me that Ben Francisco/ Ross Gload are our RFs to start next year.. Francisco should ultimately win that job outright. and he could be the next rags-to-riches (Werth)…earning the starting LF job in 2012 while D.Brown patrolls RF fulltime . . . and we have $20 M leftover for other needs

  28. George

    December 13, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    To me, losing that draft pick would be the real nail in the coffin on this one. Being a perennial winner, the Phils already draft low, and have drafted low for several seasons now. They’ve been shut out on players like Strasburg and others of his level. It’s hard to build the system that way, and if your farm has less-than-stellar prospects, there’s nothing to trade for the ML talent you might wish to get. As the core of the Phils ages, having those prospects/trade bait becomes more and more important. I’m surprised the Phils have people like Brown, Cosart, and others. I think that’s a credit to the Phils’ scouting staff.

  29. Don M

    December 13, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The phillies don’t draft high . . . but have one of the best scouting/talent- development teams in all of baseball

  30. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I am absolutely on board with the Ordonez option….but equally just as satisfied if the Phillies decide to start with Francisco/Gload out there. And….if Brown tears it up in the Spring…then there’s no discussion. Something tells me though that RAJ isn’t sold on the thought that Brown will be ready, thus the continued pursuit for another bat.

  31. Don M

    December 13, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    I didnt see the Phillies on the latest MLBTR list of teams interested in Magglio …. so I think this is just us wishing for a #5 hitter

    …a role that I definitely think Rollins can handle

    Victorino is one of the fastest players in the game.. and if he can use the mindset that Juan Pierre used to – to just put the ball in play, on the ground, and use your speed .. he would be a great leadoff hitter. If Victorino bats 5th-or-6th, he tries to hit HRs and that’s not what he should do

    the less you run Rollins, the healthier his legs stay… the longer he can play a productive SS, with greater range, etc . I definitely see Rollins as the #5 hitter if the roster stays as is

  32. Chuck

    December 13, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    That all makes sense to you, to me and to probably 99% of this site….but the question is does Charlie Manuel see it that way? If he can convince himself and Rollins that batting 5th is the answer I will be surprised.

  33. The Original Chuck P

    December 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t see Maggs as a viable #5 hitter… 21 HR over the past two seasons and he’s injury prone. He’s a decent 2-3 hitter and could fill in 6-8 but I don’t know if I would slot him in the 5 hole.

  34. Lefty

    December 13, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Here’s a different RHB outfield option which would cost absolutely nothing in trade or salary. This is a very small sample size from Baseball Reference, but it’s all there is, and IMO worth looking into further.

    10 3 2 1 2 .300 .364 .800 1.164

    These are Shane Victorino’s 2010 numbers batting RH v RHP. We know he hits well batting RH v LHP. His career numbers are not this good.
    But maybe he should try learning to bat RH full time in spring training just to see if it would work. Assuming Jimmy is healthy, Shane could bat 5 to break up the LLL’s. There is no risk in trying it in Florida next March.

    If Dominic Brown is ready, this would help. If RAJ is just going to wait it out for a year with BenFran/Gload anyway, why not try it?

  35. Lefty

    December 13, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Meant to say “His career numbers RHB v RHP are not this good”.

  36. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Lefty, I am a huge believer that Vic needs to give up batting from the left side, even if it is only so I never have to see that swing again (his swing from the right is kind of ugly, from the left, looks like a blindfolded 3 yr old trying to hit a pinata) – but 1 big clarification on those numbers – all are against knuckleballers.

    If it saves Rollins in the field, I guess Vic at lead off is the better option, but he has hasn’t been able to consistently perform in the role (goes 4/5, then 0/15). Probably not a whole lot different than Jimmy, though. There really aren’t a whole lot of good lead off hitters – like choking up with 2 strikes, it’s a lost art (Brett Gardner was the only guy in the majors to have an OBP over 0.380 and more than 40 sb – all the rest are power guys).

  37. Lefty

    December 13, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    bfo- How do you know all 10 AB’s were against knucklers? Is there a split for that? Or did you just remember that he stayed on the right side when facing a knuckleballer?

    “blindfolded 3 yr old trying to hit a pinata” – LOL!

  38. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 4:19 pm

    Going off memory there – like the rest of the squad, he looked terrible when he faced Wakefield and Dickey back to back (in June?). The next time 2xs he faced Dickey, he batted from the right (and had 2 nice games).

    I’ve always been taught that when facing junkballers (either knucklers or Moyer types), either stand way up in the box, or if a switch hitter, bat from the opposite side you normally would. This will slow your reactions down to the pitch speed.

  39. bfo_33

    December 13, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Oops – put in a name of a certain Mets pitcher, got flagged. lefty – that was from memory.

  40. The Original Chuck P

    December 13, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    nice stat there, bfo…

  41. Manny

    December 13, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    I could definitely live with a lineup of:

    Big Piece

    Putting J-roll in the 5th spot consistently would be the big step Charlie would need to make…

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