Derrek Lee Updates: Monday

The Pittsburgh Pirates offered arbitration to first baseman Derrek Lee two weeks ago.  He has until Wednesday to decide whether to accept or reject arbitration.  If he accepts, the Pirates get him for one year at a raise over his $8.5 M compensation from the 2011 season.  If he declines, the Pirates get a first round compensation pick in the 2012 draft, assuming he signs elsewhere.  Here are the updates on Lee from today:

Jon Heyman, who is now with CBS, reports that the Pirates are talking to Lee, but that the first baseman has other suitors.

Michael Sanserino of the Post-Gazette says that the Pirates hope Lee either accepts arbitration or accepts a negotiated deal.

It sounds like they want him back one way or the other, although it’s significant that we haven’t heard any changes to Lee’s desire to stick around.

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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Steve Glenn

Some people went on and on about how we DIDN’T overpay for Barmes (.240/10HR/40RBI) at 5.25 million/yr, but complain about $8.5 million for a middle of the order (very capable .275/25HR/90RBI), solid D at 1B, in Lee.  I don’t get it.

Josh Smith

Most people are worried about Derrek Lee wanting more than the $8.5mil for arbitration. I am not opposed to seeing Lee come back for $8.5mil but anything more would be outrageous for a 36 yr old with declining production and cannot stay healthy. You mentioned that he could have a (.275/25/90) type season which is unlikely because he cannot stay healthy an entire season. I would not mind seeing Lee decline arbitration so that the Pirates have a 1st Round Comp. Pick in next years draft. 

Todd Smith

If the Marlins did sign Pujols – which I kind of doubt they will – but IF…wonder what it would take to get Gaby Sanchez in a trade.

Benjamin Dobosh

The pirates need a # 4 hitter desperately, they have no other legitimate options Pedro doesnt need the added pressure. The only other real option in FA would be Kubel and that would probably mean presley to the bench and jones at 1st. I sincerely hope they can bring him back or neal can get creative and trade for 1.

Scott Klima

I now hope he declines arbitration, gets us a draft pick, and allows us to see what Hague can bring.  He and Jones can compete for time at 1B, along with Evans. Time to move on and get a SP.


Why is Lee so opposed to playing for the Pirates, I certainly don’t want someone here that doesn’t want to be here.  Let’s take the pick and let Hague start!!!

Mike Adamson

He might want to win next year.


If Lee was so opposed to playing for the Pirates he would have told them last week to forget it, but he did not, IMO, it is all about the money. I would think if he had his preference of where to play next year, he would take the Cubbies.

Ron Leighton

What is one more overpay?  Why not pay for experience?  Its not like the Bucs are hoarding money for future. It seems like they operate on a pay as you go system.

That is why NH and FC have said when attendance increases (which increases revenue) payroll will go up.

Or are the Bucs going to be one of bottom 3 teams in payroll again in  2012?  Are NH and FC hoping for a winning season in 2014?


There are so many other 1B/3B targets available in trade that it makes much more sense to take the pick and try and deal for a more permanent solution. Its not like we are one piece away here.

Jimmy Coverdale

I completely agree – I think he’ll be overpaid at $8.5m too – that money would be better spent on starting pitching


I also think it is an overpay.  But what starting pitching?  They need him or Pena if they want to take some heat off Pedro. 

Really wish there was more available.  I would take a shot with Bedard and Harden.  If you luck out, big time pitchers.  If not, cut your losses and go with youth.  Go one year, 2-4 mill + 1 mill incentives (games started/innings), with club option for 2nd year if incentives not reached, player option if they are. 


If the Pirates offer him $12 million, that will probably sway him!

Jack Mcelligott

Frankly I hope the Pirates do not sign him. Lee no doubt is waiting to see if openings come up in Milwaukee or St. Louis or other teams deemed to be playoff caliber..  Lets get the compensation pick and then move on.

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