The longtime hitting great posted on Twitter Monday that he's close to retiring. Ordonez confirmed in an email to MLB.com later Monday evening that the tweet came from him.
"Estoy muy serca de mi retiro!" Ordonez tweeted, meaning he's very close to his retirement.
Ordonez also posted a photo of him from his playing career in Tigers gear, with former teammate Carlos Guillen in the background. Guillen announced his retirement earlier this month after working out in Mariners camp this spring.
Ordonez told MLB.com via email that he's "100 percent healthy." He has recovered from the fractured right ankle he suffered last October during Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, having worked out this past winter in South Florida with former teammates Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila.
But while he's healthy, he's still a free agent, one of several longtime great hitters in their mid to late 30s who remain unsigned. Johnny Damon and Vladimir Guerrero are also in that group. Ordonez turned 38 at the end of January.
Ordonez played 92 games last season in an injury-shortened campaign, batting .255 with 10 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBIs in 357 plate appearances. He missed a month on the disabled list to strengthen the ankle, which he first fractured in July 2010. However, his late-season hitting provided some of the offensive punch behind the Tigers' August and September surge to win the AL Central, their first division title in 24 years.
Ordonez batted .365 (27-for-74) from Aug. 13 until the end of the regular season, with four doubles, one home run and 10 RBIs. He then went 5-for-11 in the Tigers' AL Division Series win over the Yankees.
If this is it for Ordonez, he'll retire as one of the best Venezuelan-born hitters to play in the Major Leagues and one of the best Tigers hitters of the Comerica Park era. He owns a .309 batting average over his 15-year Major League career to go with 294 home runs, 1,236 RBIs and an .871 OPS playing for the White Sox and Tigers.
Ordonez's career splits almost evenly between Detroit (seven seasons) and Chicago (eight seasons), separated by a free-agent deal after the 2004 season to join his one-time division rivals. The five-year contract, which became six after Detroit picked up a contract option for 2010, became one of the biggest moves in the Tigers' rise from 119-loss doormat in 2003 to AL champions in 2006.
Ordonez won an AL batting title in 2007 with a .363 average along with 54 doubles, 28 homers and 139 RBIs.