Issues include outfielder's health, Boras factor

Updated: January 27, 2005, 9:04 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Magglio Ordonez's agent made a counteroffer Thursday to the Detroit Tigers, who impressed the free-agent outfielder when they met earlier this week.

Magglio Ordonez
Right Field
Chicago White Sox
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Ordonez and agent Scott Boras met Monday with Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, team president Dave Dombrowski and manager Alan Trammell.

"Mike Ilitch indicated he was interested in making a move that would dramatically affect the franchise," Boras said. "Magglio called me today and instructed me to make an offer to the Tigers, which we did."

Ordonez made $14 million last year with the Chicago White Sox and had been seeking a five-year deal before he became a free agent.

"We have acknowledged that we have some interest in Magglio," Dombrowski told the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association on Thursday. "There are questions about his health. Everyone knows that."

Boras praised Ilitch for Monday's session in Florida.

"Mike did really good in his meeting of expressing where the Tigers can be," Boras said. "He thought the Tigers have a very good chance of winning the AL Central. Magglio is very familiar with the AL Central and with Detroit."

Ordonez hit .292 last year with nine homers and 37 RBI, but missed most of the season because of a knee injury that needed two operations.

"They talked to the doctors and were very comfortable Magglio is healthy," Boras said.

The New York Mets have spoken with Boras about Ordonez, and the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles also may be interested.

Last year, Boras negotiated All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez's contract with the Tigers.

"I wouldn't say we have a good relationship, but we have an open relationship and a professional one," Dombrowski said. "We don't agree on many issues, but we understand that and have been able to work around it."

Detroit's biggest free-agent signings this offseason were closer Troy Percival, who agreed to a $12 million, two-year contract, and shortstop Ramon Martinez, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,025,000.

"There were a couple cases where it was more of a matter of us pulling back and deciding to go in another direction," Dombrowski said. "But there were also others where we were interested and it didn't happen. …

"In a majority of cases, money is going to speak the loudest, and teams like the New York franchises and Boston can do more than most teams," he said. "That's unfortunate, but that's where we are. There's nothing you can do about the Yankees short of a hard cap, and getting that would require things that I don't want to see, like a long work stoppage."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press