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Should Magglio Ordonez Be Re-Signed by the Detroit Tigers?

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Should Magglio Ordonez Be Re-Signed by the Detroit Tigers?
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

One of the main concerns surrounding the conclusion of the Detroit Tigers' season is whether or not Magglio Ordonez will be wearing the Old English D next season.

This dance may sound familiar to Tigers fans, as just last year Jim Leyland and the Tigers organization were forced to make a decision on Ordonez's club option.

 

The Option

Ordonez started the first half of the 2009 season in a major slump, hitting .260 at the All-Star Break with only four home runs and 22 RBI.

This was clearly unacceptable for the Tigers' former batting champion, who sits in the three spot for cleanup hitter Miguel Cabrera.

Ordonez's struggles may have been foreshadowed by a horrendous showing in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, where he collected five hits in 27 at-bats with only one extra base hit.

Detroit fans began to argue: Magglio will not be back next year. Ordonez had a guaranteed sixth year worth $18 million if he collected 270 starts or 1,080 plate appearances in 2008-09, so Tigers fans began to argue that Leyland should bench the former star so Ordonez could come off the books.

Tigers skipper Jim Leyland did just the opposite. He stuck with the player that has given his heart and soul to the team since 2005.

Ordonez rebounded, hitting an impressive .375 with 21 extra-base hits and an OPS near 1.000. He hit .439 through the months of August and September, helping his team make a playoff push in the American League Central. The Tigers then lost to the Minnesota Twins in game 163.

Magglio collected his sixth-year option and was rewarded for his outstanding play in the second half of the season.

 

2010

Ordonez quickly shut the mouths of all critics at the beginning of the 2010 season by starting the season with four multi-hit games, including three extra-base hits.

Ordonez finished April hitting .303 with four home runs, May hitting .326 with three home runs, and June hitting .311 with three home runs.

After hitting a mini slump after the All-Star break, Ordonez landed on the disabled list on July 25th with a fractured right ankle, sidelining him for six to eight weeks.

However, he had shown that his power was back, slugging .474 while hitting .303.

 

The Question

Will and should the Tigers re-sign Ordonez?

Magglio should be rewarded for his production. Through the end of the 2009 season and the beginning of the 2010 season, Magglio proved he is still a reliable hitter.

Since the beginning of August last season, Ordonez has hit .337 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI over the course of 490 ABs (134 games).

If we must extrapolate Magglio's 2010 numbers over the course of a full season, using 570 ABs as a benchmark, he would finish the season at his .303 clip with 21 home runs and 104 RBI. 

We can all agree that if Magglio was not hurt this year, he would have finished the season in true form—form that is worth rewarding with a new contract.

That being said, we must take into consideration the injury factor. Who's to say Magglio's injuries will not persist? The man will be 37 years old next season, and injuries may be an issue.

That being said, he could also fulfill the possible role of DH. This could also open up opportunities for the Tigers to target a big name in the upcoming free agent market, which includes Carl Crawford, Adam Dunn, and Jayson Werth.

Ordonez will probably be seeking a two-year contract worth around $6 or $7 million per season—a risk that the Tigers organization is going to have to take.

I believe he's worth it.

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