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O's get Lee for 1-yr


millz58
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Here's Jeff Zrebiec's blog report for the Sun:

http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/2010/12/os_agree_to_terms_with_lee.html

Even if Lee's just using the O's as a stepping stone before becoming a free agent, if he (and we?) have a good year, maybe the O's will finally be a team he might consider staying with for a minute...

 

edit: $8 to $10 million for 1 year sounds like a lot to me...; too much?

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What I really like about Lee, more than the option of LaRoche, is that it is a one year deal.

 

And that's not because I am so sure that someone will come up to fill the void... or that because I am sure that we'll get someone like Fielder... but because of the trade issue.

 

If we're selling again come July - and in many ways, we probably will be selling some names to get good return - then a one year deal is so much more valuable to the other team. The Yankees or Sox or Phillies wouldn't want to take on Adam LaRoche with another 2 years on his contract. Too much weight for them. But take on Derrek Lee with just months remaining? Get some defense and some pop for a playoff push? Certainly.

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Well, I think there's a bit more of a plan for Hardy because he is younger. Though, you can be sure that they actually want him to return to truly producing. Either way, there's no drop off in his defense from Izturis.

 

Meanwhile, they hope perhaps is that Machado will eventually fill those shoes. Maybe that's a ways off... but maybe Machado does a Miguel Cabrera or Hanley Ramirez and is up here around age 20 or 21.

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I love the Lee deal. He gives us a much needed right-hand bat with some pop and that can hit lefties (.872 OPS against LHP the past three seasons). Lee hit at an .774 OPS last season in a down year. However, check his pre-and-post All-Star splits:

 

- .695 Pre All-Star OPS

- .889 Post All-Star OPS

 

Lee was battling injuries and rebounded very strong in the second half of the 2010 season. Is it realistic to expect Lee to return to his 2009 numbers of 35 HR 111 RBI .306/.393/.579/.972? Probably not. But I think expecting Lee to settle in around his career averages of 28 HR 90 RBI .282/.367/.498/.865 is certainly attainable. Then throw in the fact he plays very good defense (three-time Gold Glove winner) and this is a great pick-up.

 

And don't forget the protection Lee is going to provide for the rest of the line-up. The acquisitions of Lee and Reynolds allow us to bat Markakis in his natural two-spot and take a lot of pressure off of younger guys like Wieters and Jones.

 

In comparison to LaRoche, LaRoche is a career .827 hitter who posted only a .788 OPS in one of his better years. In other words, Lee in a down year nearly matched the production of LaRoche in one of his better years. Not to mention LaRoche was looking for a 3/4-year deal, and Lee is the no brainer. Signing LaRoche for 3/4 years and you're looking at 3/4 years of mediocrity at first base. While we were Lee's last choice, and he probably did not want to initially come here, it is a win-win for both of us. Lee is going to motivated to prove he is back from injury and is as good as his 2010 post All-Star break .889 OPS suggests, and we will be in prime position to make a run at Fielder next offseason.

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