Magglio OrdoÃ±ez was completing an agreement to join the Detroit Tigers on Friday, which means the Mets will likely enter spring training with Mike Cameron as their starting rightfielder.
OrdoÃ±ez, a three-time All-Star and the last big-name free agent of this baseball offseason, is on the verge of joining the Tigers for a deal estimated to be for five years and $75 million, Newsday has learned. Similar to the contract to which the Tigers signed catcher Ivan Rodriguez last offseason, it is voidable if OrdoÃ±ez misses a number of games with the meniscus tear in his left knee that torpedoed his 2004 season.
OrdoÃ±ez played in just 52 games last year, undergoing a pair of surgeries – the latter in Austria – to repair his knee. Earlier this week, OrdoÃ±ez worked out in California for Tigers officials, and he apparently allayed the concerns of team officials about his health.
The Mets examined OrdoÃ±ez’s medical records in detail but never watched him in person. They were unwilling to match the Tigers in terms of the length of the deal.
Another complicating factor for the Mets is that they already possess three starting-caliber outfielders. They have been unable to find a deal to their liking for either Cliff Floyd or Cameron, who’s expressed his unhappiness about moving from centerfield to rightfield to make room for big free-agent acquisition Carlos Beltran. But now, with no other run-producing outfielders available via free agency, the Mets probably would trade Cameron only if they received an experienced outfielder in return.