Derrek Lee Declines Arbitration

Free agent first baseman Derrek Lee has declined his arbitration offer from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Lee can still sign with the Pirates, and the team is expected to continue pursuing him, although this is more evidence that Lee just didn’t want to play in Pittsburgh. If Lee signs with another team, the Pirates will get a compensation pick in the 2012 draft.

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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, 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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  • Todd Smith

    I’m good with the draft pick.  If they were willing to give Lee ~$10MM, might as well throw an offer out to Pena.

  • Dan Greene

    I read that Lee is just waiting for Pujols and Fielder to sign to set the market before he does anything…doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t want to stay here.  Also I’d much rather have Lee than Pena, Pena is just another Adam LaRoche.

    • Ian Rothermund

      I would agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that Pena has a higher career OPS, hits more home runs each year, and plays better defense.

  • Anonymous

    I think its pretty obvious that Lee will only play in Pittsburgh for the money.  I would rather have the pick than a dissatisfied stop gap solution.

    • Ian Rothermund

      I would rather have production, his motivations are irrelevant as long as he’s a good teammate once he’s signed.

  • Ian Rothermund

    I still see Lee as an ideal candidate.  There’s a good chance that he doesn’t want to return to Pittsburgh, however, there’s also a good chance that he would re-sign with Pittsburgh after the market determines his value once the big name guys fall into place.  He would be stupid to sign impetuously and forgo what will in all likelihood be at least a million dollars, if not a few.  Ultimately, if Lee chooses to leave Pittsburgh, Pena would be a great option as well.  If the Pirates are willing to give Lee close to 10 million for 2012, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be willing to give Pena closer to, if not, 12 million.  That would have to be an intriguing deal; he comes in getting a raise over 2011, he’d be penciled immediately into the 4-hole, and be a huge deal in this city.

    1 – Tabata
    2 – Presley
    3 – McCutchen
    4 – Pena
    5 – Walker
    6 – Alvarez
    7 – Barmes
    8 – Barajas

    Sounds better than last year.  Just need to keep these guys healthy, I would have loved to have seen how many more games they would have won in that good first half if the line up was what it was supposed to be.

  • Vince Riedy

    Pena would more than likely require a multi year deal. Not sure I would want to stuck with him for more than one year.

  • Mike Shaeffer

    Ideally, I would want Lee to come back. However, I’m fine with giving Pena a multiyear deal if that’s what he wants (assuming his asking price doesn’t turn said contract into an albatross). The Pirates don’t have any prospects who look ready to take the major league job, save Alvarez bouncing back offensively and moving to the position. I know they have Matt Hague and Matt Curry in the minors, but Curry hasn’t reached AAA yet, and Hague doesn’t profile as a MLB starter. 

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