Pirates Offer Arbitration to Derrek Lee

The Pittsburgh Pirates have offered arbitration to free agent first baseman Derrek Lee, and have declined arbitration offers to catcher Chris Snyder and outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

If Lee accepts arbitration, the Pirates will have him under contract for the 2012 season, with his arbitration price likely being a raise over his $8.5 M total compensation in 2011.  If he declines, the Pirates will get a first round compensation pick in the 2012 draft.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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James S

I’d trade Hanrahan for any young legitimate power hitter who could hit .290 & up on a steady basis.
Decent closers are not nearly as hard to find. And there’s always a bunch of 95 mph starting pitchers in the minors who just don’t have the stamina to remain as starters and can be converted. Face it, good closers are always popping up out of the woodwork, not always of the Hanrahan quality, but at least guys capable of saving 30+ games.
Unfortunately I am not impressed enough by Alonso’s minor league numbers that he would be a legit power hitter. He’s 240 pounds so you would think he’d have hit more than he has. His major league numbers from last season were very good though, I must admit…
I’d want more than Alonso if I made the deal, but surely the Reds must know there is a flaw somewhere with him that they would even make him available, because if he is really so good they would find a spot for him to play. He seems versatile enough, (of & 1b), even playing a game at third base last year in his majors stint.

Richard Haft

I can’t imagine them trading Hanrahan for anyone.  It would look just awful.  He is young and just entering his prime.  The PR hit they would take would make the Nate McClouth trade seem like Disneyland.  He is their best player (even better in my opinion than Cutch)  Yes, getting the #1 prospect from the Reds might make some “baseball” sense, but they have to show that they will not trade everyone of value (don’t they?) and will keep their good players.

Offering Arb on Lee is the first good thing they done the offseason.   Letting Doumit go was a huge mistake, even though the sabremetric guys on here try like heck to convince us otherwise.  If Lee refuses to sign, its not on them. (other than a sad commentary again on our team..a guy really will turn down 8 million to play here = pathetic)  I am again amazed by the lowered expectations we have.  Lee for even ten million is not bad on ANY other team.  He is a proven commodity and looks to be good for about 30 homers, which will easily be our best power hitter.  Those numbers are worth ten to twelve million easy on ANY OTHER TEAM.  They have to pay players and cannot bank on stupid players like Tabata signing for peanuts.  And I made the point before and will again, who else are they spending money on?


only 1 RP I’ve seen in the last 20 years is untradeable. His name is Mariano Riviera. Outside of him if a stupid team wants to overvalue the save stat or a 1 inning player for an everyday guy or a SP, you would be foolish not to take. Relief pitchers are very mercurial and have very up down careers. Hanrahans play late in teh season proves that he’s no Mariano. Good way to have an even worse team than they already do would be to start listening to the fans.
The key is to have a capable player to come in and take that role. If you wanna question if they do and could see that. Hanrahan is worth far more to this team as a trade commodity than a 1 inning pitcher on a 80-90 loss team.
If a Meek Leroux Resop Veras B Morris can step in and do even 85% of what he’s done and they can add some decent pieces in trade, doesnt that make the team better? Thats what the FRO needs to worry about not a PR hit.
And  keeping Doumit would require a 2 year $15.5 mill commitment. He’s definitely not anywhere near worth that as you can see because he signed for $3 mill with the twins.
I agree on Lee but not so sure at his age that he’s good for 30 hrs anymore but he’s a good option for 1b.

Richard Haft

I would normally agree with other teams, but with the Pirates they have to establish themselves as willing and capable of keeping their young players.  Also, this is not a team that has an abundance of pitching talent (as we saw last year).  If Meek was healthy I would maybe take a chance, but his velocity was way down after his injury and they put him on ice the rest of the year.  Therefore, they would again have to hope someone develops or trade again. I don’t see the value in trading one of the best young closers in the game unless your getting a major league ready player in a need position.  The Red player mentioned is another prospect. (and from the sound of it another Sterling Marte type with 20-25 HR power) I don’t see the value in trading a young proven major league pitcher for prospects with this team.    If your going to trade your best pitcher, they should get a good major league third baseman, a power corner outfielder or a solid, good starter.  If Hanrahan can’t get that, don’t trade him.

There is a correlation between 19 losing seasons and their player moves.  Namely, they do not “build” anything.  Good teams in small markets keep their talent for as long as financially possible.  Yes, maybe Hanrahan is a luxury for the next year, but he is their most talented major league pitcher, and if they get even mediocre, they have a lockdown closer for years. If they get rid of players for needs, they should in positions where they have an abundance.  For example, we have about five outfielders with similar skill sets. (young, good average, fast, not “corner outfielder power”) Trade Tabata, Pressly, Marte et al for a need. 


I agree to a point they do need to show that, as they have with Tabata. Hanrahan isnt all that young and outside of maybe the first 3/4 his career could hardly be called shutdown. He’s probably more towards Matt capps than Trevor Hoffman. where he has a lights out few months then is completely average.

And as far as the player moves and the correlating 19 years, this front office has been the only one to be willing to trade guys at top value(or at least try too, regardless of what the return has been) the previous regimes only dealt guys on go nowhere teams in their last contract year regardless of value. Van Slyke walked as a FA off a bad Pirate team. It shouldve started with him. This team shouldve been attacking the draft and Latin america for the last 30 years not 4.

I feel worst case you have to sign another Dotel type to finish games. even if it costs a lil more than you’d like. hopefully the return you get in trade makes it worth it.

Not sold on Alonso either, would rather have Logan Morrrison or a top SP prospect(Ranaudo,MArtin Perez type guy or Gio Gonzalez 😉 )

Thing i’m most scared about is what happens if HAnny comes out and pitches more like late 2010 Hanny than early. Now its done you have a slightly above avg RP with below avg value. So I say use the value get some players take your chances on a 1 inning guy. The more he can earn in arb the less trade value he has. So even if he’s equal performance next season he prices hisself out of PGH and his trade value is equal at best because of arb inflation.

Richard Haft

Well, Hanrahan does have a high 90’s to 100 mph fastball, so I cannot see him being a fluke.  You cannot teach a 100 mph fastball.  So he will always have value.  I have seen “flukey” closers with weird deliveries or perfect ball pacement (Hoffman and Capps come to mind) and I think those pitchers are the ones you trade when their value is at maximum.  Why? because the odds are they cannot produce that consistently. It used to be called having a career year.

With Hanrahan, unless he gets injured, he will have a 97-100 mph fastball, which is what you want in a closer and should have that for at least 5 to 7 years. Its like the difference between Strasburg and Maholm.  Malhalm puts up good numbers sometimes, but he needs to be “perfect” in his command and have a good defense, where a Strasburg can just mow them down.  You cannot replace natural talent, and he has it, which is why I am not in favor of trading him unless they get a proven major league star.  The players with talent are the ones small market teams need to keep for as long as possible.  Its the Dotel’s of the world you trade when their trade value hits its maximum.

Bob Smith

Reds Shopping Yonder Alonso For Pitching

Does this make sense for the buccos trade JH for this guy?


I would but I would try to get another player along with Alonzo. 


Yeah but I think they would want another guy along with Joel not the other way around.


I know. I think more of Hanrahan than I do of Alonzo.  Alonzo’s lack of power (for a corner player) is a bit of a concern to me.


I like Lee..very classy guy.. why would he want to stay with a terrible team?????.


The risk is paying a guy, who will have some level of success, around $10M to be your first baseman. Still, its the right thing to do to get the pick.  


will having more compensation picks give the team more to spend in the draft pool under the new CBA?

Dan Loften

I think everyone expected this to happen.

I really hope he signs back with us, even though, I would much rather have Carlos Pena over Lee.  I still would not mind Lee, just that Pena I think can be more productive and less injury prone than Lee.

Either way, good move here all around.  No downside.

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