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Could the Tigers Release Magglio Ordonez?

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The Tigers are expecting Carlos Guillen to return from a rehab assignment within the next 10 days, and it's obvious that one of their outfielders needs to go.

According to a report on MLive.com, releasing Magglio Ordonez is certainly becoming a more realistic option.  If not Ordonez, the Tigers will have to either send down Clete Thomas or Josh Anderson, both of whom provide the tigers with speed, defense, and the occasional offensive spark.

In 2006 Ordonez was the catalyst of the Tigers offense that went on to win the American League Championship. He followed that up with a stellar campaign in 2007 when he batted .336 and won a batting title. But the tables have drastically turned on Ordonez this year. He is struggling to say the least. Ordonez is only batting .260 with four homers and 28 RBIs, which isn't exactly the production the Tigers were hoping for from an $18 million player.

Recently Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he'll begin to platoon Ordonez in the outfield, and he only expects him to be in the lineup against left-hand pitching.

Leyland is an old school manager who demands production from his players. It's obvious that Ordonez is running out of chances with Leyland, and if he doesn't begin to produce soon he may be out of a job.

Ordonez has a clause in his contract where if he has 135 starts or 540 PAs in 2009, or 270 starts or 1,080 PAs in 2008-09, his option will become vested for another $18 million. The Tigers clearly don't want this to happen, so releasing Ordonez may be their best option.

If the Tigers elect to release Ordonez I'm sure several teams would take a chance on the one-time superstar. Look for the NY Mets to be a team interested in Ordonez should he become available.