15 million vs. playoff chances.

By Kyle Bauer

It can be as simple as that. Lets lay it out; Fifteen million owed to Magglio Ordonez if he reaches 540 at-bats. If Magglio reaches 540 at- bats, his career .315 average will shine through. Magglio not reaching 540 means 15 million will stay off the books. But a man who has an .852 ops and on pace for over 20 homeruns and right around 100 rbis will be out of the line-up. Which would you rather have?

Magglio Ordonez has served to be a polarizing figure. More a scapegoat than any other Tiger. Fans are infuriated that at the age of 36, there was a possibility of him making 15 million this year and possibly another 15 million next year.

Many do not seem to understand or accept the weight of such a back-loaded contract. While Magglio is not worth that much a season, it is fair that a man, who has been one half of a triple-crown contending season for Miguel Cabrera, while carrying a consistent bat, is the second-highest-paid position player on the Tigers. Next to Miguel Cabrera, he is the best position player on this team. His value is immense.

While everyone is cheering for Magglios injury seeing this as saving the Tigers money, it has obliterated this season. At this point, I doubt Dumbrowski will act hastily. Detroit has been involved in trade rumors, I never bought into the idea that the Tigers were going to go all in at the trade deadline. This will be reinforced. Desperation could set in, but with Inge, Magglio and Guillen all being injured within a week, there are now too many holes to patch. With Magglios injury the season is sunk and there is no-saving it.

The Tigers were still a couple players from seriously contending with Magglio but a couple cheaper players. I saw Miguel Tejada or Ted Lilly possibly with Ryan Theriot coming to the Tigers at the right price. Even without Guillen and Inge, the Tigers in my mind still had a viable offense with Jackson at the top and the combination of Miggy and Maggs in the middle.

The offense was fragile. You could argue that taking one cog out of the machine, was enough to halt it. Magglio was too much, Inge and Guillens loss could be neutralized with a cheap acquisition. So now the Tigers sit with Rhymes, Larish, rAAAburn, Sizemore, Worth and Avila/Laird in the bottom of the line-up. Too much ineptitude to overcome. You celebrate this injury now because of all the money coming off the books, but you wont be spending money at the ballpark to see this team. All the excitement is gone, all reason to watch this team is gone. This summer and early fall is dead. Is this really what you want?

All the money coming off the books is good. The Tigers will have around 75 million to play with. But similar to where this story all begins, the Tigers might have to throw at least a quarter of that at one player. Why would Carl Crawford want to come to Detroit? Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt didn’t want to come here. You would have to over-pay the same way you overpaid for Magglio Ordonez in 2005. That is why I defend the Magglio Ordonez contract. Aside from worth to the team, the contract holds validity because the Tigers had to pay the bad team tax at the time. In order to get a name in Detroit, the Dumbrowski was going to have to spend recklessly. If the Tigers were to get Crawford, they would have to use that 75 million and then some. The Tigers are a much better team than in 2005 but Detroit is still the same undesirable climate. Dumbrowksi will have to pay the bad climate tax, hope you’re ready for more back-loaded contracts. That is if the Tigers are lucky. All that fresh new available money will likely be wasted on two Adam Everetts and two Johnny Damons.

The Tigers will be relegated to the same market this off-season that they face at the trade-deadline. This is a mid-level market that will only attract mid-level talent at best.

There is nothing good about Magglio Ordonez broken ankle. It is as simple as that.