NEW YORK – Jose Canseco offered to keep Magglio Ordonez "clear" in his upcoming book if the Detroit Tigers outfielder invested in a movie project promoted by Canseco, The New York Times reported Wednesday night.
The newspaper cited "a person in baseball with knowledge of the situation" in a report on its Web site and said four people in baseball, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Major League Baseball referred the matter to the FBI.
Ordonez decided not to go forward with a complaint, so the FBI didn't open a formal investigation, the newspaper said. Ordonez spoke to Tigers president Dave Dombrowski, who contacted MLB.
"I didn't want to press charges against him," Ordonez was quoted as saying. "I don't want any problems. He is probably desperate for money. I don't understand why he is trying to put people down."
Ordonez, teammates with Canseco on the 2001 Chicago White Sox, said Canseco didn't specifically ask him for cash.
"One of Jose's friends was leaving me messages," Ordonez was quoted as saying. "I told Dombrowski because I didn't know why he was calling me."
Canseco told the paper that neither he nor any associate asked Ordonez for money in exchange for avoiding mention in "Vindicated," which is scheduled for publication March 31.
"Absolutely not," Canseco was quoted as saying.
Canseco said he unsuccessfully attempted to reach Ordonez. Canseco refused to say whether he would implicate Ordonez with performance-enhancing drug use in the book.
Scott Boras, Ordonez's agent, filed a complaint with the FBI after Canseco spoke with a Boras employee and said Ordonez would be "clear" if the outfielder invested in the movie project, the newspaper said.
Last year, Canseco was reportedly trying to put together a movie based on "Juiced," his 2005 book that implicated Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi, among others, in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
Ordonez was not implicated in the Mitchell Report on drugs in baseball or in Canseco's first book.