GM Williams is looking elsewhere

Updated: December 7, 2004, 8:45 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Magglio Ordonez probably has played his last game for the Chicago White Sox.

Magglio Ordonez
Right Field
Chicago White Sox
52 9 37 32 0 .292

The White Sox have until 11:59 p.m. ET Tuesday to offer arbitration to their four-time All-Star right fielder but appear resigned to losing him because they still haven't been able to evaluate Ordonez's surgically repaired left knee.

"I don't have any new information on Magglio," White Sox general manager Ken Williams said Monday. "There are other things to focus on now."

The White Sox could offer Ordonez salary arbitration, knowing there are plenty of other teams who will have interest in a 30-year-old who's a career .307 hitter with 187 homers and 703 RBI. But if Ordonez accepts arbitration, he'd get a salary close to the $14 million he made last year.

Ordonez only played 52 games last season because of the knee injury, his fewest appearances since he was a late-season callup in 1997. Ordonez missed 36 games after injuring his left knee in a May 19 collision with second baseman Willie Harris, then went on the disabled list for good July 22 with bone marrow edema.

The White Sox thought Ordonez was beginning his rehab in September only to learn that he had a second knee operation. Though Ordonez's new agent, Scott Boras, has said he'll be fully recovered by December, Williams said he was told he wouldn't be able to evaluate Ordonez until he holds a workout at the winter meetings -- several days after the arbitration deadline.

"I asked for [an evaluation] a couple of different times," Williams said. "That was actually prior to the end of season where I tried to get him back into Chicago for an examination by our doctors. Obviously, we never got that far. And I did ask again at the general manager meetings. I was told we'd have the same opportunity as all the other clubs out there."

Instead, Williams has turned his energies elsewhere as he heads to this weekend's winter meetings in Anaheim, Calif.

"I've got a list of things I'd like to accomplish," Williams said, declining to be more specific.

One player he won't be pursuing is Randy Johnson, who has made it clear he doesn't want to pitch for the White Sox. The 41-year-old left-hander appears to want to leave the rebuilding Arizona Diamondbacks to pitch for a contender, but he also has a no-trade clause.

"I've been told he won't pitch on the South Side of Chicago," Williams said.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press