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A’s Have Interest in Magglio Ordonez

February 4, 2012


The Oakland A’s have interest in free-agent Magglio Ordonez as per a Peter Gammons tweet that reads,

“The A’s are also evaluating Magglio Ordonez, like Manny [Ramirez], for a spring tryout.”

Ordonez, who turned 38 last week, spent 2011 with the Detroit Tigers where he played in just 92 games. In his 357 plate appearances he featured a 6.4% BB% and 11.5% K% while being worth a total of -1.0 WAR with a .255/.303/.331 slash line. In his career Ordonez has never been one to take a walk with a lifetime mark of 8.4% right around the MLB average though he betters the average in K% with a career mark of 11.0%. Though he played 69 games in the field in 2011, it is expected that if the A’s had interest in him it would be solely as a designated hitter with him being used sparingly in the outfield if at all.

Can’t say I like this move, especially within the context of the A’s having interest in Ramirez. Surely, the one advantage Ordonez has over Ramirez is his ability to be ready to go when the A’s arrive in Tokyo for their opening set with the M’s, while Ramirez won’t be available until he concludes his PED suspension on May 30th. But in some ways I feel that is a disadvantage with the A’s as it directly steals plate appearances from Chris Carter who should be given every opportunity to win the DH role. Furthermore given Billy Beane and the A’s recent track record of aging sluggers, Mike Piazza, the second-go with Frank Thomas, Mike Sweeney, Nomar Garciaparra and most recently Hideki Matsui, Ordonez seems ripe to slot perfectly into that long line of failure. I am at best lukewarm on the idea of getting Ramirez, but Ramirez given his suspension gives ample time for Carter to prove the job should be his, then we can cut bait with Manny right then and there. Furthermore if you are of the belief that Carter is not the answer, if comparing Ramirez and Ordonez the competition isn’t remotely close (as shown in the below graph made via FanGraphs’ WAR Graphs).

In reality, to compare these two players is a joke. Ramirez outperforms Ordonez by virtually every measure. Ramirez was worth as many WAR as Ordonez has been worth by age 38, at age 30. So while, Ordonez doesn’t have the baggage that comes with Ramirez (though being the game-winning home run that sent the A’s home in the 2006 ALCS won’t help make him an instant fan favorite), his signing makes even less baseball sense. I’ll be happier if Magglio is donning someone else’s jersey when the 2012 season begins.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    February 5, 2012 4:43 am

    Ordonez is a career .300 hitter. And if he’s only good for 90 games, even better. What is Chris Carters or Michael Taylors career average again ? yeaah. These veterans are proven MLB players, who can help out our younger outfield. Plus it saves us embarrassment if all of our outfield prospects didn’t work out. Which CAN happen. Aaron Cummingham effect.

    Oddly enough, If we sign both Manny and Magglio, The A’s are looking like a team that could compete in the right “moneyball” circumstance. You just gotta believe. I say sign them both, lets roll the dice this year and see what happens !

    • February 5, 2012 1:23 pm

      I’m not saying that when we compare the full amount of work by the time everyone’s career is complete that Ordonez is bettered by Carter or Taylor. But in three years where is Ordonez for us the Oakland A’s? If we sign him he isn’t still with us, whereas there is a very real possibility both Carter and Taylor could be a part of those teams. Neither of those two hitters have anything left to prove in Triple-A, especially Carter. We have seen it time and time again that the A’s have had one of these “proven MLB players” who are past their prime come here and just be terrible. I’d rather have gone the route of a very inexperienced outfield and have a gander at what we do have here for the future.

      Signing both of them would be absolutely awful, because it’d guarantee that none of our prospects see the light of day unless one of them got injured (which while it is a real possibility, the hope for any club is that players do not get injured – you don’t sign guys hoping they get injured and remove lineup blocks). I just don’t see any way that the A’s compete for a division crown or even a second wild-card berth and I am totally fine with that. Getting more veterans just means we have less time to play prospects who could be regular contributors in the future, that to me seems very short-sighted.

    • Marker permalink
      February 27, 2012 5:16 pm

      Magglio hit .419 in the fall of 2011. While overall he had a bad year due to injury and slump through most of the season, he hit when it counted, and was one of the Tiger’s best hitters in the playoffs until he was reinjured. If he had a DH role but not full time, didn’t play everyday he could help your team. He accepted his limited role last year for Detroit like a man and a veteran, kept his mouth shut, and hit when it counted. He could still play outfield, but it would be better for him and whatever team signs him if that was on a very, very limited basis.

      • February 27, 2012 10:02 pm

        Thanks for reading and commenting. Ordonez had a phenomenal September that is for sure. But in terms of “hitting when it counted” one could argue for the Tigers that wasn’t in September so much but rather in August when they still had not rid of the Indians. They started September 5 1/2 games up after all and in August Ordonez didn’t help the Tigers’ cause with a .213/.227/.230 slash line. In terms of when things matter most, he preformed best in medium leverage situations (.320 wOBA, 98 wRC+) so he really performed best when things mattered to a degree and even then he was less than stellar. It seems the A’s have moved on from Ordonez, and he could potentially be a useful piece to another team but I have to think if others like Vladimir Guerrero and Johnny Damon are without a home, than Ordonez may be waiting a while longer.

  2. Hungary4A'sNews permalink
    February 5, 2012 8:27 am

    While I enjoy the analysis and everyone’s logical points, I must hail from the time of the dinosaurs or something, because I am sick of the band-aid approach. What we can have is the continued Beane tradition of bringing in too many Piazza,Justice- types and even Thomas, Jaha success-types OR a youth movement.
    Putting aside the “stadium situation”… To me the fun of following ANY team is not only the W’s and L’s…I like to see development and growth, a connection that is nearly a stupid expectation in today’s Pro sports. Did you ever joke with Rob Picciolo during warm ups? Or watch Rickey snag a fly ball 1 foot from you? One was a roll player and 1 a HOF er but they were around enough to feel a connection to them…basically to care about being an A. Why meet Players at a Fan fest if they will be gone tomorrow? so that is why I am interested in an A’s Youth movement. Stupid naive emotional connection to my team. Baseball is slow and long and about history and connections with teams..isn’t it?

    That said, reality check…Even O’Finley himself said that he agreed with the concept of free agency…ONLY if EVERY player was a free agent every year…true marketplace.

    • February 5, 2012 1:25 pm

      I agree, I think this would very much be in the vein of a bandaid type move, just as the terrible decision to sign Coco Crisp was. I agree with you wholeheartedly with watching development. I was prepped for a 60-something win season but was excited to get to see which young guys could break out and be leaders for when we contend again. Don’t see that happening anytime soon if we keep making these one year deals that just block our prospects.

  3. Kasper & Ghosts permalink
    February 5, 2012 10:30 pm

    Prospects shouldn’t be given time on the field, they should earn it like J.Weeks. Too put a bunch of unproven rookies out there would be a joke to watch.

    • February 5, 2012 11:07 pm

      Weeks came up when Ellis was sent to the DL. He kept his spot, he didn’t necessarily earn it and had Ellis not been hitting .206/.240/.284 he would’ve had his spot back upon his return. Prospects can still earn spots on the team, let them fight it out amongst each other. If the A’s signed someone like Ordonez, he wouldn’t be in some open competition for a spot, he’d be virtually assured of one. I think its fine to put “unproven rookies” out there. We aren’t competing for a crown and there aren’t any awards for third place or an 81-81 finish. Tear down, see what you’ve got. That’s my sentiment.

  4. Mark permalink
    February 20, 2012 8:59 am

    Whats up, I’m from southwest Florida, Fort Myers:( 2nd paragraph get to an idea that I want someone to poke holes in) constructive criticism on this ‘breakfast club” post board will get to the A’s- I can help US make a difference- I’ll figure out a way to get this A’s scouting, I want them to win big, if you to do then let put some ideas into place. I followed the A’s as a kid and new every pitcher on the roster, where he played ball early on, watched in horror when I noticed rookie star pitcher ;tipping” his pitches and getting creamed. then Mark and Jose and the book- sorry, but I was young and sad and left the game i loved. I entered the workforce and built a business from nothing into a business and manage clients/investors assets for a living, a financial ad visor- NO- I am NOT a wall street guy or 1% or 2 % er….but I’m back because I LOVE baseball and I have a A LOT to LEARN from reading your posts, so please CORRECT ME if you see a fallacy or you disagree- I a NOT a ‘know it all’ I just want to add some thoughts and get a dialogue going Let’s help get the A’s soe more “W” in 2012 and if you help educate me, I can help with good ideas and hopefully our blogs, when organized will reach someone under Billy- i have great instinct….You in?

    – ‘ The breakfast club “post” starter’ BCP ( breakfast club post))

  5. Mark permalink
    February 20, 2012 9:06 am

    First IDEA is coming in a minute relating to a player they should look at ( on the cheap) now… and finding his game….more to come in a few minutes……

  6. Mark permalink
    February 20, 2012 10:06 am

    Anyone that thinks that we need a ‘youth infusion’, what about this’ Loek Van Mil’? He’s down the coast in the farm system for the Angels, AA ball 26 yrs; old.

    Loek is a freak of nature and finally coming into his own. 7′ 1″ tall 225lbs- added 5 lbs in off season through weight training – was 220 at close of 2011. couldn’t find any control for years, he jumped around a bit and finally in 2011, went 3 and 5 , 2.04 ERA, in 30 games while pitching 66 innings in AA ball in the Texas league. He’s affordable and works hard and does not get discouraged easy- from what I can see after he gets belted- he comes right back. You may ask why 3 and 5- but a 2.04 ERA ? Cause the fielding sucked behind him, only 15 ER but 22 total runs given up.

    Question is this: is 7′ 1″ inhibit the defense behind from seeing the ball pop off the bat- because his high leg kick and long arm stretch towards the plate? He does have relatively broad shoulders, unlike the build of Randy Johnson…

    You think if the Oakland airwaves and TV preview the signing of one of the tallest pitchers to ever play ball, that won;t alone increase ticket sales by a few thousand? Simple equation more people in the stands and buzz= more energy for the team= less ensure drinks needed in the clubhouse= more wins. If anything, he infuses excitement to Oakland if they can wheel and deal and get him. He’ll be ready in 2012 for the big show, he has 3 pitches, the fastball just clocked at 100mph- reported at 99 in media. Last season he worked on control and release point- it worked-look at his numbers of BB/9 3.12.. TALLER pitchers don’t come “into their own” until mid 20’s. (i.e. Randy Johnson was about 25 or 26 when he started rocking it)

    Mr. Beane or A’s scouts ( if you read this)AND breakfast club members: he’s 26 and has 2 great pitches and a third ” good pitch”. Velocity increases because his lengthy arms put the release point of the ball closer to ho plate when it leaves his his hands. He likes California-according to a media report that’s a plus for you too. NEGATIVES: needs to strengthen his third pitch and increase his K/9. Guys- 2.04 ERA, 7’1″ – had control issues but last full year in AA ball 3.12 BB/9. he does not appear to be cocky clubhouse guy,seems reserved but determined, but I don’t think he’ll be a leader in the clubhouse- just not his style.

    • February 22, 2012 1:50 pm

      Loek is interesting as a possibility. I don’t see how we pry him away from the Angels though. He was outrighted in November meaning that presumably the A’s ought to have had an opportunity to claim him but didn’t. I assume if they have a crack at him he is worth a shot, but I don’t think he is worth signing as a novelty for his height. Can’t imagine people wanting to see him unless he is effective not just tall. Chris Young didn’t draw the masses though he has been both effective and tall. Interesting idea though.

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