Should the Tigers keep Magglio for one more year?

As most Tigers fans know, Detroit is finally free of Magglio Ordóñez’s massive contract.  While Magglio was pretty good at the dish last year, he remained one of the most overpaid players in the game as he cashed in checked from the Tigers that totaled $17,825,976.

I think the Tigers would be happy to pay that kind of money to the 2007 Magglio that played in 157 games and hit .363.  However, the 2010 Magglio played in only 87 games.  That means that Ordóñez pulled in over $205,000 per game.  That is actually pretty tough to comprehend.

Regardless of what he made and how little he played in 2010, Ordóñez remains a favorite amongst Tiger fans.  After all, this is still the same man that came to Detroit and signed a long-term deal when the Tigers were really struggling.  This is still the same man that sent the Tigers to the 2006 World Series with his ALCS-winning home run off of Huston Street.

So, with Magglio emerging as a free agent, what should the Tigers do?  Before we chat it up, here are the facts:

  • He turns 37 in January
  • During his six seasons in Detroit, he has missed an average of 36 games per season
  • He is slowing down and will need to DH more than play right field
  • As a Tiger, Magglio’s batting average is .318 and his OPS+ is 118.
  • Over the past six years, only five players have a better batting average than Ordonez
  • Generally, players do not get better or healthier as they enter their late 30s.

So, what should the Tigers do with Ordóñez?  The simpler answers are to “keep him” or “let him go.”  Personally?  I would be fine with the Tigers keeping Magglio in Detroit on a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $4-7 million.  I am not on board with the Tigers giving Magglio the Derek Jeter treatment where they give him a huge deal just because of who he was.

Over the fall and winter we will see how the Tigers choose to handle this situation.  I hope they keep him around, at least for one more season.

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