Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

AL Central Watch: Could Tigers give Ordoñez his walking papers?

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large_magglio30.jpg.jpegHere's a quick glance at what's happening around the American League Central.

Magglio Ordoñez's slow start has some in Detroit mulling the possibility the Tigers might release the All-Star who hit .317 and drove in 103 runs last season. Money is at the heart of this issue. Ordonez's contract includes an $18 million option for 2010 and a $15 million option for 2011. If Ordoñez has 135 starts or 540 plate appearances this season, his 2010 option becomes guaranteed. And if he has 270 starts or 1,080 plate appearances between this season and next, his 2011 option becomes guaranteed. This is all part of the five-year, $75 million contract Ordoñez signed with the Tigers upon leaving the White Sox after the 2004 season. If the Tigers release Ordoñez, 35, they must eat the remainder of his $18 million contract this season, plus the $3 million buyout of his 2010 option. There is no buyout for the 2011 option. He is hitting .241 with just two home runs and 12 RBI in 30 games. Meanwhile, the Tigers are ready for the D-Train to start rolling again.

Royals All-Star closer Joakim Soria insists he will ready when his 15-day stint on the disabled list expires May 23, The right-hander is under orders to restrict his throwing for a few days until the inflammation eases in his shoulder He gave his shoulder a break by throwing with his left hand while shagging balls in the outfield Tuesday in Oakland. Meanwhile, Luke Hochevar got hammered for eight runs in two innings as the A's extended the Royals' losing streak to four games.

The Indians, always in need of bullpen help, continue to look at former White Sox and Cubs right-hander Luis Vizacaino. Vizcaino, 34, signed a $3.5 million contract with the Cubs in the offseason, and was released last momth. The Indians would be responsible for only the pro-rated major-league-minimum part of his contract. Meanwhile, designated hitter Travis Hafner is set to begin a rehab assignment.

Former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede, who has gotten off to a bumpy start with the Twins, got a lift by news his two-week-old son, Jace, is home from the hospital. Crede, who got to spend a day off Monday with Jace, belted a home run Tuesday to celebrate.

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This page contains a single entry by Chris De Luca published on May 13, 2009 11:16 AM.

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