Pirates Still Interested in Derrek Lee

The Pittsburgh Pirates are still interested in Derrek Lee for first base, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Lee was offered arbitration last month, but turned down that offer a week ago to pursue free agency. He is believed to be waiting for the top options on the board to sign, hoping that will improve his market.  Albert Pujols signed last week with the Los Angeles Angels, which leaves Prince Fielder as the only road block.

Lee would have some competition on the open market from Carlos Pena. Both players would be options for teams that missed out on Fielder and Pujols.

The Pirates currently project to have a platoon at first base between Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee. Adding Lee would add some insurance. Right now if Pedro Alvarez has a repeat of his 2011 season, the Pirates are looking at Jones and McGehee as full time starters at the corners. That’s not an ideal situation, and the addition of Lee could help boost one of those corner spots, while adding Jones and McGehee as depth to the bench.

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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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  • Nate

    I’m a little curious as to why people are only talking about Lee and Pena.  Why don’t the Bucs go after Cuddyer?  Is he too much of a liability at 1st?  Gotta be better than Jones.  He’s 32.  Would a 3 year/25mill be too much for him?
    The Twinkies just signed Willingham…can’t think they are still in it for Cuddyer. 

    • Tim Williams

      Last I saw, Cuddyer was looking for something in the 3/$30 range. They’d be better off going with Pena at $10 M a year.

    • Bob

      I agree, I don’t think we are getting Lee or Pena and Cuddyer IMO would be a good option.  As you mentioned though, I am not sure of his defense at 1B.  

    • Anonymous

      If the Pirates are going to spend $10m a year on a 1B, my first choice would be Pena, followed by Cuddyer. I like the way Cuddyer plays and he’s averaged 149 gms played and 575 ab’s over the last 3 seasons so he is durable. 22 hr’s and 82 rbi’s per season over the last season as well would help us a ton. Career as a 1B, 210 gms 12 errors, .993 fldg pct, 2.20 ZR. I think that he would be more than adequate.

      • Anonymous

        Looking at D.Lee, Pena & Cuddyer.  All would cost ~$10m.  Lee likely 1yr committment…Pena 2yr…Cuddyer 3 yr.  Cuddyer is the youngest(32) and seemingly still in his prime offensive yrs.  Cuddyer also offers the most FLEXIBILITY…he can easily play RF or possibly 3b if needed in the future.  Finally, Cuddyer offers by far the best intangibles.  He is known to be a very strong leader & club house presence.  Not to overplay this (see M.Diaz) but assuming all 3 offer similar production in the middle of the order (~800 obs)…Cuddyer should be the obvious choice.  If Pirates jump in with 3/$30 I think he’s here!

  • James S

    I wonder if they have any interest in Luke Scott, now a free agent.  He really isn’t a first baseman though he has limited experience at the position. But if they were looking at Josh Willingham as some reports indicated, Scott is like the poor man’s Willingham.
    I don’t think he is worth big money, (he doesn’t deserve to be at least.)
    Scott would bring good power and run production, though his defense isnt anything to write home about, especially at first base. He is best suited for a platoon role as well, but decent enough when playing everyday.

    • Tim Williams

      My concern with Scott is that he had a huge drop off last year, at the age of 33. Could be a sign that he’s starting his decline.

    • Bob

      We need an everyday option.  

  • F Lang

    Luke Scott questions the validity of the President’s birth certificate also. The Bucs front office could use a right wing lunatic on the roster to draw the media away from scrutinizing their won-loss record.

    • Anonymous

      The Pirates are the Pittsburgh medias NO.1 whipping boy, I don’t think winning or anything else is going to change that.

    • Anonymous

      Only a left wing lunatic would bring his politics to a baseball site.

      • Anonymous

        Or a right wing lunatic to criticise on a baseball site.Lighten up pal,Lang appears to have been making a joke.Scott’s critcism of the President was common knowledge.

        • Anonymous

          I’m not your pal, dude.

          • Anonymous

            Disqus generic email template Fine.How about lighten up azzhole ? —–Original Message—–
            From: Disqus [mailto:]
            Sent: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 3:16 PM
            Subject: [piratesprospects] Re: Pirates Still Interested in Derrek Lee

            piratemike wrote, in response to leowalter:

            I’m not your pal, dude.

            Link to comment

            • Anonymous

              Believe me being called an “azzhole?” by you is a complement as opposed to you calling me your pal.

  • Anonymous

    I think Scott’s drop off last year was because of injury.  He had surgery.  The O’s would like to have him back but not at his arbitration salary (I think the D-Backs have said the same about Saunders and Owings).

    • Tim Williams

      Scott’s drop off was due to injury, but I’m not convinced that’s a one year fluke at his age. He had three different problems during the year, with the labrum surgery ending his season.

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