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Pirates Acquire Derrek Lee for Aaron Baker


Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that Derrek Lee to the Pittsburgh Pirates is “getting very close” and could be completed tonight.  Earlier today the Baltimore Orioles acquired first baseman Chris Davis, and we heard that they were shopping Lee, looking for salary relief.  The Pirates figure in to the mix, as they are looking for first base help.

I talked earlier about whether Lee would be an upgrade.  If you look at his overall numbers this year, he doesn’t look like much of an upgrade from Overbay.  If you look closer, you’ll see that he’s on a hot streak, and had a big second half in 2010.  That makes him an upgrade from Overbay.  We heard today that the Pirates weren’t sure he was an upgrade, and we’ve recently heard that they are balking at the price in prospects.

Lee would make about $2.47 M for the remainder of the year, and he also will very likely earn $2 M in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.  I’ll keep this post updated with any additional news.

UPDATE 10:02 PM: Connolly provides another update, saying the Pirates will look at medicals closely, and that Baltimore will pick up some salary to get “a ball player”.  He also says that a source calls the deal “very likely”.

UPDATE 10:04 PM: More from Connolly: Another source says the deal is close, but not official.  Baltimore would give up a bit of money, and would receive a low-A player.  He adds that it could be announced tomorrow, after the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed, and mentions that the return is an A-level hitter.  A low-A hitter means someone from West Virginia or State College.

UPDATE 10:37 PM: Rob Biertempfel says that indications are that the Pirates won’t have to pick up a lot of the $2.6 M still owed to Lee.

UPDATE 10:47 PM: Dan Connolly adds that the Orioles are likely to include about $400 K in the deal.

UPDATE 11:10 PM: Dan Connolly reports that it’s Aaron Baker going back to the Orioles.  Considering the Pirates have Matt Curry in AA, and Alex Dickerson in State College, the loss of Baker isn’t major to the system.  Baker has some nice power, but poor defense, and doesn’t profile as well as Curry or Dickerson.

UPDATE 11:55 PM: The deal is official, from the Orioles.  Lee for Baker.

UPDATE 1:03 AM: Ryan Doumit has been transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Lee.  This won’t really affect Doumit’s rehab.  Just clearing a spot without removing someone from the roster.

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Tim Williams
Tim Williams
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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