LAKELAND, Fla. -- Magglio Ordonez arrived two days early for
his first spring training with the Detroit Tigers, and had some
good news for his new manager.
"It's so encouraging to hear that starting Tuesday he's going
to do everything we do," Alan Trammell said Saturday. "I couldn't
be happier to say that our new acquisition, Magglio Ordonez, is
clear to go."
When Ordonez, the last premier free agent of the offseason,
signed a contract that could be worth up to $105 million over seven
years with the Tigers on Feb. 5, he said that he'd be able to
participate in some drills during Detroit's first full-squad
workout on Feb. 22.
Despite the encouraging upgrade in Ordonez's status, Trammell is
going to be careful with his probable clean-up hitter, whose 2004
season was cut short by two knee operations. Ordonez's eight-year
career with the White Sox effectively ended when he wasn't offered
salary arbitration. Chicago didn't offer arbitration after it was
told Ordonez wouldn't be available for a medical evaluation until
after the arbitration deadline had passed.
"All indication is that he's ready to go," Trammell said. "As
I say that, we'll be smart enough to know that we'll be checking
Ordonez hit .292 last season with nine homers and 37 RBIss in 202
at-bats. A career .307 hitter with 187 homers, he missed 36 games
after hurting his knee May 19 -- then went on the disabled list for
good on July 22 with bone marrow edema.
Carlos Guillen, also coming off a knee injury, will not be ready
to play right away.
"At this point I've been very pleased, but I don't think he's
ready to play a game," Trammell said. "I've actually been able to
see Carlos take grounders, but he's not able to go game speed."