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.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://twitter.com/cbar30 Corey Barcus

    Now they just need a RF…Lets hope this isnt it…We need at least Willingham to go with Lee

  • http://twitter.com/cbar30 Corey Barcus

    Also, who do you suspect the A player could be, and who would be an A player we should’t part with?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cory-Yokel/14225674 Cory Yokel

    Now release Overbay, Pearce. Trade Jones. Option Fryer back to AAA. Call up Gorkys, Doumit, Harrison.

  • Anonymous

    Better not be Robbie Grossman

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KEYHS3XWH74U3LRIHGWL7XPBA Nate

    Kubel – go get him.  Twins are just saying they’re still in contention to inflate Kubel’s price