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Tigers, Ordonez Said to Reach $75-Million Deal

February 06, 2005|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — The Detroit Tigers snared the last remaining premiere free agent of the off-season, agreeing to a $75-million, five-year contract with outfielder Magglio Ordonez, a baseball source said Saturday.

Ordonez's deal could be worth up to $105 million over seven seasons, the source told Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

Under the complicated deal, Detroit would have the right to void the contract after the 2005 season if Ordonez has a reoccurrence of the knee injury that hampered his production with the Chicago White Sox most of last year and it lands him on the disabled list for 25 days or more.

The 31-year-old Ordonez gets a $6-million signing bonus and a $6-million salary in 2005.

His contract calls for a $15-million salary in 2006, escalating to $18 million by 2009. Detroit has options for 2010 and 2011.

The deal also includes salary guarantees on option years based on starts and plate appearances.

Tiger President Dave Dombrowski did not return telephone messages.

The Chicago Cubs, Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers backed out of talks this week, and the Mets told Ordonez's agent, Scott Boras, on Friday that they were not prepared to move quickly.

Ordonez, a four-time All-Star, hit .292 last season with nine homers and 37 RBIs in 202 at-bats. A career .307 hitter with 187 homers, he missed 36 games after injuring his left knee May 19, requiring two operations.

He went on the disabled list for good July 22 because of bone marrow edema.

Ordonez made $14 million last year and had been seeking a five-year deal. He became a free agent when the White Sox did not offer salary arbitration because they were not able to evaluate his left knee.

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