CHICAGO -- Right now it appears the White Sox and Magglio Ordonez are one year apart in their contract extension talks. If the sides can't resolve their differences, Ordonez intimated that he might be playing elsewhere next season.
Ordonez wants to stay with the White Sox for the rest of his career, but the 30-year-old right fielder reportedly wants a five-year contract at $14 million per season as the final substantial payday of his career. He will make as much in this, the final year of a three-year deal.
"This is going to be my last big contract and I have to take advantage of that," Ordonez told the Chicago Tribune. "It's my last opportunity to get something done.
"If they give me something fair and the years I want, it'll be fine," he told the Tribune. "If not, I guess I'll have to go to free agency."
White Sox general manager Ken Williams would not comment on the negotiations, telling the Tribune "in the interest of actually trying to accomplish something, it's best to keep these types of things out of the public eye."
Ordonez actually came close to leaving the White Sox during the offseason, but it wasn't by choice. If the Red Sox had been successful in acquiring Alex Rodriguez from the Rangers, Ordonez would have been traded to Boston for shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. But Rodriguez ended up being traded to the Yankees, nixing the potential BOston-Chicago trade.
Ordonez, a power hitter with a .308 career average, is in his eighth season with the White Sox. If the negotiations have been a distraction to him this spring, there's been no on-field indication of it. Entering Wednesday's game against Kansas City, Ordonez is hitting .345 with three homers and 10 RBI in 29 at-bats.