Originally published in The Tigers Den Blog | 17 December 2010
In the winter of $100 Million contracts, a few signings have fallen under the hot stove’s radar, and the Tigers re-signing of Magglio Ordonez is certainly one of them. Of course, it was just announced this afternoon, and the deal isn’t completely official yet, but if you go off of popularity on Twitter (which is a very good source for trending topics across the country) this was barely a whisper when compared to the signings of Jayson Werth, Carl Crawford, Cliff Lee, and even Joaquin Benoit and Victor Martinez.
Whatever the initial impact of Ordonez reappearing in the Old English D is, it is a huge step in competing for the AL Central Title in 2011, which will be clogged with competitive Twins and White Sox teams. Ordonez is an extremely professional hitter (as we all know) who can slide right in front of Miguel Cabrera in the 3rd spot in the lineup and do something that the Tigers failed to do in the second half of 2010….protect Miggy. This simple solution solidifies the Tigers lineup, which now looks even better than it did when Brennan Boesch was at his best last summer:
1. CF Austin Jackson
2. 2B Will Rhymes / Carlos Guillen
3. RF Magglio Ordonez
4. 1B Miguel Cabrera
5. DH Victor Martinez
6. SS Jhonny Peralta
7. LF Brennan Boesch / Ryan Raburn
8. 3B Brandon Inge
9. C Alex Avila
It would be great if the Tigers could pick up a formidable second baseman, but it won’t happen this offseason. Second base is an interesting position that Dave Dombrowski has let slide under his radar for far too long. When they let Placido Polanco leave for Philadelphia last year, the consensus was that it was a mistake, but the Tigers brass felt Scott Sizemore was ready to start. At 25 years old, I figured they would figure out very quickly if Sizemore was a true starting second baseman. We all know how that turned out.
However, now that Dan Uggla is off the table and in Atlanta, there really is no other option out there, but it sounds like Dombrowski and Jim Leyland are comfortable with Will Rhymes and Carlos Guillen as insurance later in the year. If Rhymes played like he did last year, more power to them, I’d be all for it.
Simply put, Ordonez was a necessary signing for Detroit to make. He provides that perfect protection not many other free agent players could have offered. After Werth signed with Washington, how many other corner outfield options were there? Vladimir Guerrero? He’s a DH at this point, just like Jim Thome. Manny Ramirez? Hahahahahaha…sorry, got carried away there…Johnny Damon? We know how that turned out last year. Marcus Thames? That experiment ended long after it should have, plus he should never see more than 250 plate appearences in a single season. Andruw Jones is too much of a liability these days, and players like Rick Ankiel and Brad Hawpe should never have their names muttered in the same breath as “Starting in right field…”
No, Ordonez was the perfect signing for the perfect team, at the perfect price.
I’d like to see two more moves this offseason, signing Orlando Hudson and either signing Brandon Webb, Chris Young, or trading for Zach Grienke. If something like that happens, I’ll be a very happy ticket holder.