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Why I like adding Derrek Lee

PHILADELPHIA – As I went around the clubhouse, I passed on the word that Derrek Lee is coming to the Pirates from Baltimore. Most of the reactions were very quiet and even more muted, as the team had just lost again, and there’s something to be said for shouting “Yippee!” in a clubhouse where more than one player can lose his job as the result of trades.

Derrek Lee

Still, I was able to get one player smiling and saying, “Cool!”

Another asked if Lee could “get here in time for tomorrow’s game.”

Yet another said, “I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy. He’s coming for sure?”

Yep, for sure.

Rob Biertempfel and I confirmed that the Lee deal was set to be complete tonight, just as the Pirates were about to strike out for the 15th and final time in their 7-4 loss. Looks like the Pirates will pay only about $1 million of Lee’s remaining $2.6 million in salary, and it’s confirmed that they’ll only give up Class A first baseman Aaron Baker, who didn’t make my Baseball America top 30 list this year.

That makes this a pure salary dump on Baltimore’s part, which probably will have a lot of people wondering why the Pirates would want a player like that.

Here’s why I like Lee …

Let’s start with his official page, where you can check all his vitals for yourself.

Lee is 35, will turn 36 on Sept. 6, and has a .281 career average, .364 on-base percentage, 324 home runs and 1,060 RBIs. He’s also a two-time All-Star, three-time Gold Glover and a 2003 World Series champ with the Marlins.

But I know no one cares much about all that. What matters is what Lee will do.

If you look at Lee’s split statistics up there, check out his month-by-month. Yeah, he’s batting .246 with 12 home runs and 41 RBIs, which is better than Lyle Overbay but not by some great margin. What counts to me is that Lee has a history of being a better second-half performer and, more important, that history has begun to play out: His average was .235 before the break, and it’s .298 since. He has 13 of his RBIs since the break. In a game two nights ago, he hit an opposite-field home run, doubled and walked.

That’s the Lee we came to know in all those years with the Cubs.

Now, one month doesn’t make much of a trend, so this is hardly a guarantee. But here’s guessing that Lee is the type who will perform better in a more important setting than the one in Baltimore, where the Orioles are 42-60 and probably opened the year 30 games behind the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

Jerry Crasnick, ESPN’s outstanding baseball writer, sat just to my right in the Citizens Bank Park press box, and he shared this with me: “Derrek Lee might be one of the 5-10 best human beings in baseball. Just a tremendous guy, a real leader, someone who can really make a difference.”

I heard some of those same things about Lee over the years from infield instructor Perry Hill when he was here, some more earlier yesterday from Matt Diaz.

Now, I already can see the eyes rolling out there about the leadership stuff. The only reason I point it out here is that, whatever becomes of Lee the rest of this season, it strikes me as terribly unlikely that it will be due to a lack of effort.

I don’t know Overbay all that well. Seems like a nice enough guy. But what I do know from watching him on and off the field is that he’s a poor fit for this group in every way. Just tonight, when Pedro Alvarez was plunked, Overbay was sent up as a pinch-hitter, took one lazy swing at the first pitch he saw, bounced out to first and barely jogged to the base.

That’s old. It’s time for him to go, even if that means an outright release.

I like Lee for many more reasons than that he’s better than Overbay. (I wrote in my column the other day that a random Fed Leaguer from Pittsburgh would be better.) I like Lee’s history of OBP, I like the fact that he’s right-handed, I like that he’s had a .297 career average at PNC Park (which he’ll tell you is not his favorite place to hit), I like the fact that he’ll play outstanding defense, and I like more than anything this second-half trend.

All that said, the Pirates need more.

Watching Jose Tabata barely handle any activity here, he doesn’t look like he’ll be back soon. Another outfielder would be welcome, even if it means Tabata returns and either he or Alex Presley comes off the bench. More pitching would be nice, too, even though most of the players disagree with me on that.

This is a good start.

Comments

  1. CDBrewer says:

    You convinced me…I really thought Lee was done.
    I didn’t realize how bad Overbay’s effort had gotten too.

    Why did Hurdle keep running him out there? He doesn’t seem like the type to do that.
    And he certainly isn’t one to take orders from the FO.

  2. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Great job by Huntington!

    The Bucs got Lee for next to nothing.

    There is still plenty of room for more deals… perhaps an OF or some bullpen help.

  3. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    I’m still clamoring for Ludwick. I think he’s a guy that can rebound in the NL Central. His numbers away from Petco are better and his defense is better than anything Paul or Jones will do.

    Ludwick is familiar with the NL Central parks and still has some pop left.

    Cutch needs protected and Lee and Ludwick are much better than Overbay and Paul/Jones/Pearce.

  4. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    Yeah, more is needed, for sure. But 3.5 games out still makes it worth it, I think.

    I mean, really, they gave up nothing in the baseball sense for Lee.

  5. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    Also, I think we need to shop Correia, Karstens and Resop. With Lincoln and Ohlie ready to return to either the rotation or bullpen, we should cash in on the overspending by some of these teams.

    The Indians giving up Pomeranz and White along with two others for Jiminez…really?

    The Rangers giving up Davis and another for Koji, insane.

    Wheeler for two months of Beltran, absurd.

    What could Karstens bring or Correia or Resop or ~gasp~ Maholm?

    We could add and sell at the same time, the Pens do it, why can’t the Pirates?

  6. JDelSignore says:

    The Bucs gave up a 23-year-old playing in high A ball, so that is next to nothing to get someone who is an upgrade to Overbay. Also, Derrek Lee has been very hot lately so this may be lightning in a bottle. Either way, it’s a no risk, medium reward situation which is better than doing nothing.

  7. CDBrewer says:

    DK

    Do you know if they feel like more is coming for us, or if it is cooling?

    Wasn’t it last year when there was a flurry right at the deadline?

  8. Colin Ferrell says:

    I like the Lee addition, a nice upgrade.

    Going along with what the others are saying, do you sense that the Front Office is trying to do more? Particularly adding an outfielder?

  9. jefft says:

    Thanks for the update, Dejan.
    I like the fact they gave up next to nothing for Lee. Is it enough? No, but it’s a good start. No idea who else they could find (but now I think a trade for BJ Upton would make a little more sense, depending on what they have to give up).

  10. Eric Bowser says:

    If I’m going to be critical of Huntington, I and others better be willing to suck it up and say good job with acquiring Derrek Lee for what amounts to a salary dump deal for Aaron Baker. The Pirates should have enough money and prospects left in the tank to do some more things, maybe even big things in a relative sense with San Diego since they have outfielder Ryan Ludwick and reliever Heath Bell on the trade market.

    Both these teams should be a match for a good deal.

  11. Better Days Coming says:

    Dejan,

    Assuming both are in play which would you rather shoot for, Upton or Francouer?

  12. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting the roster move that makes room for Lee.

    Release Overbay?

    Or someone sent back to minors?

  13. Dave says:

    dk other than 5 home runs and 20 some points of avg lee and overbay r the same guys this is not much of a upgrade both lee and overbay are on the backside of ever being great again. Lee has heated up lately was he just playing to get himself out of Baltimore

  14. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    @ Dave

    Check the article above. Lee has hit much better in his career during the second half of the season. Not as many HR during the 2nd half but better AVG, OBP, SLG, and OPS.

  15. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Jayson Stark at ESPN:

    “Derrek Lee isn’t player he used to be. But for team like the Pirates, it’s shot of adrenaline to add guy with his presence & credentials.”

  16. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    Another tweet:

    937Catfish Joe Kapp
    To make room room on the 40 man for Derrek Lee the #Pirates will move Ryan Doumit to the 60 day DL. No word yet on active roster.

  17. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Ludwick is going to Cleveland from what I read. There’s still time to get Willingham who is on kind of a hot streak himself. I hope they at least try to pry away Cuddyer from the Twins, but if they have to settle for Kubel, I like him too.

    I still think they should grab Melky Cabrera from the Royals if he comes as cheap as I think he should. If The Royals will part with either Alex Gordon or Billy Butler though, I would jump on either.

  18. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @All: I’d be very surprised if there isn’t more tomorrow, especially considering the Pirates really didn’t give up anything tonight.

  19. Dave says:

    he is 35 we need results not well he used to and he is typically a better second half performer they still have time to make more moves but if this is all management is going to do then they failed horribly

  20. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    Doesn’t Lee actually have to fail before you can say the FO failed horribly?

  21. Eric Bowser says:

    Pirates have $ and prospects to deal but can they beat the other teams to the punch with guys like Ryan Ludwick/Heath Bell, BJ Upton, Carlos Quentin, Josh Willingham/Grant Balfour.

    Huge last 16 hours for Pirates

  22. Dave says:

    Sec143 if u believe Derek Lee will solve all the issues the bucs have you are hitting the kool aid a little to hard. The front office doesnt need to kill the future but they need to do more for a team that is busting there butts every night

  23. CDBrewer says:

    If we were to get a Balfour, a Bedard (who has been good last night not withstanding), and a Ludwick (or Melky, or Francoeur, or Quentin) I think we would be right there at the end.

    I think it takes all three – help for the pen, an arm that is a little fresher (or used to the grind – DBacks did well to get Marquis), and a bat – since Tabata isn’t coming back soon.

  24. Sec.143RowMSeat24 says:

    I din’t say he’d fix all the problems. Last I checked it was 12:28. Deadline is 4:00 p.m. tomorrow. Things can still get done. No one on here claimed Lee was the be all end all. What they pointed out is that he’s a better option than anyone else on this team right now? Are you going to disagree with that? I doubt it. He should be an upgrade. That’s all anyone is saying.

  25. CDBrewer says:

    Wow Dave,

    That isn’t what Sec 143 said at all…
    You had reacted to the move that it was a failure…DK said more was likely.

    I agreed with you about Lee, completely, until DK pointed out Overbay isn’t even running anymore. Maybe Lee hits .280 with 15 doubles and 6 HR’s and you and I were both wrong. And those numbers aren’t even crazy good.
    If he is any better, and we had had him in ATL, it might have been a sweep.

  26. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    This is a very low risk trade. Anybody will be better than Overbay. The Pirates gave up practically nothing. And Huntington still has chips to play with until the deadline tomorrow. He’s not finished yet…

  27. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    For what it cost them, the Pirates would have been nuts to pass up Derrek Lee. It’s a start. I’ll give them the benefit of the time remaining before the deadline. Most moves are made at the last hour anyway. I hope they outright release Overbay soon, if only as a message to the fans that such poor performing is not tolerated.

  28. MrB says:

    Hopefully Lee works out. The team right now is really missing the speed and aggressiveness of Presley and to a lesser extent even d’Arnaud. Those guys pressured the opposing defense and made things happen.

  29. Dave says:

    sec143 and cdbrewer what i was saying if lee is the only move its a horrible failure by management nothing more nothing less understand

  30. aglebagel says:

    I was at the Yankees-Orioles game with my uncle this afternoon and the first time Derrek Lee came up to the plate, I said “You watch, I’ll bet this guy’s a Pirate tomorrow.” Don’t I feel cool now :)

  31. Pig Legs Robinson says:

    Also to add to Dejan’s stats on Lee this year, He may not have a huge margin between his and Overbay’s stats, but don’t forget that Lee spent time on the DL this year too, and he still has better numbers than Overbay…and I second Dejan on the fact that Lee is definitely a second half hitter.
    Who knows, maybe Hurdle can examine Lee’s swing and see what is causing such a big guy to hit so few homers (at least compared to how many he hit in the past). Maybe he just needs a bigger bat or a maybe even a lighter bat. Being in contention will certainly light a fire under him at least.
    If Lee is just his nomal self, he will guarantee better results than Overbay. But he has the potential to do more, so it’s win for the Pirates regardless.

  32. pattonbb says:

    There’s no risk whatsoever. What’s the worse that could happen? He bats .225 and shows less than expected defense? We’ve seen that for 100 games now.

    I think this was a smart play by NH.

    Now lets wrap up a deal for an outfielder. Ludwick is intriguing, as is Upton, but if they could pull it off, Carlos Quentin is their man. Just imagine the speed at the top of this lineup with a real cleanup hitter. No disrespect meant to NW or Cutch. But lets face it, they’re not #4 hitters.

  33. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    TradeDeadliner TradeDeadliner
    #Cardinals and #Dodgers have agreed to a deal sending Rafael Furcal to the Cards. Deal is not official, as Furcal has to approve it.

  34. Wudchuck says:

    While I believe that Derrek Lee will be an upgrade over Lyle Overbay, my question is this: If Lee was available due to the Orioles’ acquisition of Texas’ Chris Davis, why did the Bucs not pry Davis away from the Rangers for themselves? Seems to me that not only would Davis have been an upgrade at 1B this year, he also had the potential to fit into the team’s long term plans in a way that Lee does not.

    Did the Pirates even inquire about Davis? Was it a case of needs that did not match up? Inquiring minds want to know…

  35. Dave says:

    Slowey + Kubel could be a nice pickup, and I agree with the sentiment that we would do well to shop some established players in this crazy market. Another thing might be to get in on this right-handed bullpen action (by shopping Veras and Resop).

    The Royals have said that they won’t trade Francoeur or Melky, which seems strange in this market. Cabrera has similar numbers to Pence.

  36. CDBrewer says:

    Patton,

    You nailed it – everybody is hitting out of order because there is no cleanup hitter.
    Quentin is a masher, more than any of the other names.

  37. Joseph in Huntington Beach CA says:

    @ Dave G:

    Watching the Dodgers game, and Vin Scully just informed everyone that Furcal is not in the dugout; and that as a 10/5 player he has 24 hours to consider whether or not to accept the trade. Vin went on to say that the Dodgers expect Furcal to do so.

  38. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    TradeDeadliner TradeDeadliner
    Rich Harden deal has fallen through. He is an #Athletic, not a #RedSox.

  39. Skip says:

    DK – If I’m Aaron Baker, you sure aren’t on my Christmas card list. As a baseball player, while he likely realizes he’s not an elite prospect, he probably considers himself more than “nothing”.

  40. Joseph in Huntington Beach CA says:

    If someone already posted this I apologize. Derrek Lee offers some generic comments regarding the trade: http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/sports/orioles/blog/2011/07/lee_speaks_on_the_trade_pittsb.html

  41. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    TradeDeadliner TradeDeadliner
    This afternoon the #Indians seemed to have a good chance of acquiring Ludwick, with the #Pirates also becoming involved. Deal seemed close.

    But late tonight news came that no deal between the two clubs is close, but the Indians are by all means still in on Ludwick.
    _____________________________________________________________________

    Possible three-way trade was in the works?

  42. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    TradeDeadliner TradeDeadliner
    BJ Upton rumors slow today…#Braves, #Indians, #Nationals, #Phillies, #Pirates all interested but no one is close. Upton is available.

  43. buccos since '04 says:

    Excited they made a move, not satisfied.

  44. Dave G in Mason, OH says:

    I think I misinterpreted the Ludwick tweet… not a multi-team thing, but Pirates also interested in Ludwick.

  45. pghboyinca says:

    Ageree with D.K., 100% good low cost addition and getting rid of Overbay is addition by subtraction. I’d like to see an outfield bat and I would love to see any addition with an eye to the future. I think we have to make a legitimate attempt to win this year but with the realism that it would take a miracle and keep building. This move was great but keep it going. I would love to see a young position player blocked in another organization added for a pitcher. We desperatley need some hitting going forward. The Texas frst baseman the Orioles snagged was my guy I would have loved to pick up.

  46. Duncan says:

    Quentin may cost too much, but look at the healthy lineup that could create. It’s fun to dream.

    1.McCutchen CF
    2.Presley/Tabata LF
    3.Walker 2B
    4.Quentin RF
    5.Lee 1B
    6.Alvarez 3B
    7.Doumit/McHenry C
    8.Cedeno/d’Arnud SS

  47. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    @Eric Bowser

    The Willingham talks are pretty much dead according to Buster Olney, as of this afternoon.

    @all

    As far as adding another piece, BJ Upton has seen his AVG drop every season since 2007, his strikeout totals have gone up, his OBP down to .310, and it is well known he has had an attitude problem and a lack of hustle at times. All of that and he’s hitting .167 since the All Star break with 2 extra base hits.

    Kubel would be ideal considering the market but it’s not likely to happen.

    Ryan Ludwick wouldn’t necessarily be an upgrade unless he is replacing Matt Diaz. Garrett Jones has given the Pirates similar offensive production in 110 fewer ABs. Xavier Paul is a nice bench player because he isn’t a bat hitter (.258) and provides a great dose of speed (12 steals).

  48. Bunch of fair weather fans... says:

    Let’s also not forget that the Pirates’ hands are forced by a lot of injuries.

  49. Bill says:

    I agree DK A strong addition with little cost and no sacrifice to the future

    http://buccobillblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/lee-deal-good-move-for-nh.html

  50. GooseDennis says:

    DK,

    Can we see Overbay moved in a Ryan Church-like deal, except we’re the D-Backs this time?

  51. PI Stingray says:

    I can’t believe no one has brought up what division Lee was playiing in; The American League East. Let’s just look at who he’s been batting against all year, vice the pitching staffs in the NL Central. I would think that he could do better than he has, just by seeing weaker teams…..

  52. steelerfan9598 says:

    Please release Lyle Overbay. At this point he is simply an embarrassment. Something about Alvarez annoys me too – he always looks like he’d rather be somewhere else. Is it just me?

  53. jimd says:

    A move to only appease the fans. They needed to make a real move and failed (ex: Hunter Pence to the Phillies?). THis front office is pathetic. All you guys who think this is a start to help the Pirates are nuts. It is always too little too late. WE needed Presley against Cleveland, butr they waited why? We got swept. Presley comes up and is on fire. THat is the whole thing with NH MISFIRE!!!!

  54. Curt says:

    Like the sentiment of many on here, this is a nice start, however not enough. The FO better do a little more by the deadline!

  55. Jack says:

    Ok addition still need a outfielder one with some control would be nice. Hope we haven’t seen the last of Doumit “Hated losing when it was a rarity in that clubhouse!

  56. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    @those that don’t like the move,

    How anybody can disagree with this move is beyond me. Lee is moving to the easier league and returning to a division he is more comfortable with (which is why I would also like to see Ludwick become a Bucco).

    He is known as a good clubhouse guy and has been involved in races before. He had a second-half surge last year, and so far that is happening again.

    We gave up a player, not a prospect, that is too old for his level. Aaron Baker plays a position that we have some internal options that are growing. Hague was already ahead of him and remember that Curry got promoted OVER him to AA. Dickerson is proving he would have taken a lot of abs from Baker next year.

    This is a no-lose situation for the Bucs. If Lee tanks, we are already seeing that from Overbay and we gave up nothing. If Lee plays well, it’s an upgrade and we gave up nothing.

  57. SterlingCooperDraperPrice says:

    @Curt,

    Had better, or what?

    I mean the prices have been astronomical. For years teams held on to top prospects and refused to move them for anything short of Cliff Lee. Now we’ve seen the Indians trade two 1st round picks (Pomeranz the #13 prospect in baseball according to Baseball America and White) for Ubaldo Jiminez. Think about that. Thats the equivalent of giving Taillon and Allie for Jiminez. Had NH made tha move, the fans should have had him drawn and quartered.

    Look at the deal that sent Koji to the Rangers. Koji is a 35 year old RELIEVER that is having a career year in every major category except k/bb ratio. The Rangers gave up Chris Davis and Tommy Hunter, two 25 year old players. Davis is a big bat and has destroyed AAA pitching, while Hunter is a soft-tossing pitcher that projects as a middle reliever. The Rangers gave up two mlb players for a 35 year old having a career year. I would pass on this as well.

    Then there is the SF Giants. They gave up the #35 prospect in all of baseball, according to Baseball America, for TWO MONTHS of Carlos Beltran. I’m sorry, but that’s insane.

    NH should continue to look for the RIGHT deals, not the RIGHT-NOW deals.

  58. Francis_Spencer says:

    Lee, 2009 w/ Cubs: .306BA, .972OPS, 35HR, 111RBI.

    Anything at *all* like those numbers would (obviously) be a huge upgrade over Lyle Overbay. They didn’t give up much to get him, either.

    One look at the Pirates’ upcoming schedule from August 8 through August 28 makes it pretty clear that an upgrade was required…

  59. RayJay says:

    The Lee move is okay. I won’t miss Overpay-ed. I agree about Alvarez’s totally spaced-out look all of the time. One thing we need to understand: we are not competing for anything this year except fan support. We don’t have the horses to do it. But another losing season means that the fans go back in hibernation. Can’t tank during the last two months!!!!!

  60. Rich says:

    Dejan,
    Just in case you didnt get a chance to read my email yet, Bucco nation, dont get too excited. A case of too little too late. By the end of the day today they will be 4.5 out and eveybody else will have significantly upgrade. Pretty much making the Bucs out of it. We wont do anything else and when asked Nutting and Huntington will tell us “Look what we did with Lee” and we will just suck it up and smile. In fact I wouldnt be at all surprised to see them trade Maholm for a bag of balls and they will tell us ” Olendorf is back Maholm was expendable” Mark my words. You heard it here first.

    Rich

  61. SeanE says:

    Considering the cost (or lack thereof) I have no problem with this pickup. The Pirates gave up nothing to get Lee and only have to take on some salary. That said, anyone who thinks this is going to be a major upgrade is kidding themselves. Lee has clearly lost some bat speed according to the scouts. He is not nearly the player he was 3-4 years ago. I do not see this addition as making any tangible difference in the offense.

    That said, I think this was a good pickup for symbolic reasons. It shows the fans that the team is willing to add. At the same time it did nothing to affect the long range plan. Watching the Pirates play St. Louis and Phil confirmed in my mind that there is still a LONG way to go. This addition won’t affect that long term plan. Adding a Beltran or a Pence would have simply cost too much IMO.

  62. Baywatch says:

    Has anyone mentioned that Lee, for being a great guy, has been known to ENFORCE on the field, too, i.e., charging Chris Young after getting beaned that time; and putting Big Z in his place in the dugout? I’ve long been saying what the Pirates REALLY need is a good brawl and Derrek Lee brings more grit in his crawl to the team since … well, since Lloyd McClendon!

  63. JMB says:

    DK’s comments and / or tweets that the players were happy about Lee says I all need to know.

    I wasnt on the CDavis train cuz this team needs a for now, and not a Quad-A strike-out machine. I dont care for Upton either since I think Bourn is better in every conceivable way except HR’s, but Bourn’s base-stealing could account for as many runs as BJ’s hr’s.

    I dont think this is ALL IN or #HeapItOn, but it is staying in the poker game with a spoonful of gravy laced chips.

  64. Happy G says:

    I don’t know how anyone could think that this is a bad move, it’s not. At this point, anyone with a heartbeat is better than Overbay.

    I think it is a great move. We gave up almost nothing in return and I believe D Lee has the intangibles (see @baywatch) that are a perfect fit for this clubhouse. If you remember, Hurdle has been saying for weeks that they don’t want to bring someone in that would ruin the clubhouse.

  65. vandelay industries says:

    To evaluate the trade, it’s 2 simple questions:

    1. Is it an upgrade?

    The clear answer is yes.

    2. Did we give up too much?

    No, we gave up a guy not even in our top 30.

    Add that up and it’s a win. No it’s not a grand slam, but it’s a win.

    Clear cut and quite simple.

  66. Tom says:

    This is OK IF it’s the first shoe.

  67. JMB says:

    Ken_Rosenthal
    Source: #Braves on verge of acquiring #Astros’ Bourn for four minor leaguers. #tradedeadline #MLB

    BOOOOOOOOO!

  68. pattonbb says:

    Braves got Bourn

  69. Better Days Coming says:

    And the Jets get Plax.

  70. JMB says:

    jaysonst
    #Braves agree on deal w #Astros for Michael Bourn. Hou gets J Schafer, lhp Brett Oberholtzer, rhp Paul Clemens & rhp Juan Abreu. #trades

    None of those guys are elite prospects to my knowledge.

  71. pattonbb says:

    the Braves loved Juan Abreu. Not sure if I’d call him elite, but he’s a flame thrower.

  72. Yinzers says:

    The way veteran players are being dealt this year, it wouldnt surprise me if NH could find a taker for Jones/Pearce/Overbay today which would save a roster move to put Lee on the 25 man.

    I agree with SterlingCooperDraperPrice’s take on the matter: it’s a win-win situation, no matter how you look at it. Lee will be an upgrade to Overbay regardless, and Baker had ZERO change of seeing the necessary AB’s due to blockage at the position. Baker’s fate was sealed when they took Dickerson in the draft.

    Kudos to NH/FC, but your work is hardly over today…

  73. JMB says:

    I see DLee is waiting until Monday to join his new teammates. that info has changed my opinion of this trade 100%!

    I guess he isnt all that excited about joining the Pirates…

  74. CDBrewer says:

    Yikes, hadn’t seen that, JMB.

    Would love DK’s take on it…maybe there is something more to it. I know he has (or had) a very sick child. Maybe he is moving family with him or something.

    I am with you, this isn’t a great start though.
    His comments were tepid at best too.

  75. vandelay industries says:

    JMB,

    They announced the trade last night at 10:30ish and he’s not in today’s afternoon start game and that’s a red flag?

    I don’t get that at all.

    I understand the proximity of the cities, but come on now. I don’t see how him not there today translates to a level of his excitement.

    Plus, as far as I know now, the Pirates haven’t made a roster move yet to make room for Lee so he can’t be here anyway. I’m assuming they’re making more moves today, along with corresponding roster moves to make room, and we’ll see the “new team” tomorrow.

    Nothing more than that.

  76. Red Vodd says:

    Wouldn’t Morton, Ohlendorf, Crotta, and Pearce been better value in the trade than what Cleveland gave up for Jimenez? Wouldn’t it be an extremely strong staff to have Jimenez, Correia, Maholm, McDonald, and Kartens as your starters. Other than the Phillies, who would have a better staff?

    And, if Hurdle is such a good hitting teacher and could correct an old vet like Lee as to why there’s a problem in his hitting process, wouldn’t the Pirates have a solid on-field team and batting order?

  77. cmat0829 says:

    Red Vodd: Um, are you serious in your post or was it sarcasm that I somehow missed. Cleveland gave up their 2010 #1 draft choice, a HIGHLY regarded LH pitcher (think their version of Taillon) PLUS another highly touted YOUNG pitcher and two other prospects. Nothing close to your supposed compelling Pirates offer. Reading posts like yours are entertaining though.

  78. vandelay industries says:

    Red,

    Are you suggesting that the Rockies would’ve liked those players you listed for Jimenez compared to what they actually got? Please clarify.

    If so I have to strongly disagree. Keith Law has a take this morn online where he says the Indians gave up too much for Jimenez as is.

    No way Morton et al is worth more.

  79. Happy G says:

    Vandeley,

    The Pirates moved Doumit to the 60 day DL to make room for DLee. So, he is on the roster.

    But, I agree with you, the fact that DLee didn’t make the trip to Philly for one game is absolutely no concern to the start of the trade. There are so many factors involved it may have been impossible to get him in uniform this afternoon. You know, those HR type people that need all of the paperwork done may be holding up DLee’s first game. The fact is, none of us know all of the details to the reason why. So, for JMB to speculate that DLee isn’t excited to join the Pirates is flat out wrong. Plus, for those that don’t like his comments after the double header to the Yankees, what did you want him to say? He had to speak politically about the entire situation.

  80. Happy G says:

    Red Vodd, Hurdle is a good hitting teacher, just look at the Rangers last year. But, the Pirates are a different story. As the old saying goes…you can’t make ice cream out of bird crap.

  81. vandelay industries says:

    Happy,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Now it’ll be even more interesting being at the game tomorrow seeing Lee’s first game for us against his former team.

  82. JMB says:

    You guys could be right, but I would have preferred a bit more “I’m excited to get into the pennant race” type stuff.

    Every game for the Pirates is MUST win, so a more team oriented player would have tried to get here ASAP.

    He is what he he: a two month rental.

  83. JMB says:

    DK via twitter

  84. JMB says:

    Dejan_Kovacevic
    One player told me, regarding Lee not coming till Monday: “Love him as a player. I just hope he wants to be here.” #Pirates #MLB #Orioles

  85. Dejan Kovacevic says:

    @CD: Lee has a child with a specific medical condition, though I haven’t had time to do the research on it. Maybe you guys can do that with a Google.

  86. JMB says:

    BiertempfelTrib
    Privately, folks in #Pirates clubhouse are steamed DLee is taking his time getting here. Pence flew overnight across country to join Phils

  87. bdubb says:

    I am going to say the Pirates need to stop making a trade right now. Cardinals are about to get Furcal and already got Jackson. Phillies go get Pence. Indians, whether good trades or not, are very active. The Pirates have proven they are still a minor player in mlb. Lee is not a game changer. Lee can’t catch up to the fastball anymore. Disappointing. Need something to happen today!

    Any word on whether Pressley will be ready on the 15th day?

  88. I for one , has been spoiled as well with the BUCS being a contender, dont loose sight of the fact where they have been the last 15 years ! it’s a process !!!

    They still have too many players who can’t catch, play a ball slicing away from you
    or HIT. Take this year for what its worth and build on it !!!

    THEY HAVE GREAT PITCHING IN THE SYSTEM, get players who can put the bat on the ball consistely, TOOO many stikes outs. WHY DIDT WE MAKE A PLAY FOR LANCE BURKMAN, A HISTORY OF HITTING AND CHEAPER THAN LYLE. MISSED THE BOAT ON THAT ONE, WE ALL WATCHED HIM PLAY AND HIT FOR HOUSTON FOR YEARS AND YEARS.

  89. HarpoJack23 says:

    Overbay is a slacker. He could not even run out a base hit, he needs to go. Release him now that we have Lee.

  90. Bizrow says:

    I was wrong, Huntington made a move, and not a bad one at that. Wonder what took so long?

    Disappointed Lee won’t be in the line-up today

    C’Mon Neal, do another one

    We’re in this dam thing

    Beat Em Bucs

  91. vandelay industries says:

    Biz,

    It took so long because Lee only became available after the O’s traded that reliever and got the 1B Davis from Texas. That made Lee more expendable.

    Often there’s a lot of moving parts on these deals, more than just 2 teams with mutual interests.

    It’s not PS3.

  92. Red Vodd says:

    to cmat0829 & vandelay industries: The Indians giving up what they did to get Jimenez, is equivalent to the Pirates in 2008 trading John van Benschoten, Bryan Bullington, Daniel Moskas and Mark Merchant for C. C. Sabathia if they were in the running. Aren’t Morton, Ohlendorf, Crotta, and Pearce a much better option?

  93. Matt In Pensacola Fla. says:

    Overbay? Overrated. Lee was a great pickup, now all they have to do is “add by subtraction” Release Overbay AND Jose “the lead eraser” Veras. How is that guy even in the majors? I have a Niece that has a better fastball….her curve is just OK, but a much better heater than Veras. He gave up 2 leads last week, and did it again against the Phils’ today. Lee will win the Bucs’ a few games, but Veras will give them right back. “Jose Varas” in Spanish means “blown save” doesn’t it? Either that or “rag-arm”…..not sure which. I don’t know why Hurdle even runs him out there, when he comes into a game its like watching a slow motion train wreck/tire fire. Its going to be ugly, it will last a while and there will be one heck of a mess to clean up when its done.

  94. Red Vodd says:

    Happy G, I guess you are right. But just think how much butter Hurdle gets to churn in 2011 having been saddled with Overbay, Diaz, Lee, and Ludwick!

  95. sammy says:

    now, Don’t you agree the Pirates have to bench Alvarez or send him back to the minors ? Disagree? just look at the Pirates record without him ( winning record) and with him playing ( losing record)

    He’s weighing them down. Put in Pearce, Wood, or anyone but Pedro.

  96. sammy says:

    and yes, here’s what they need to do- plahy the 2 new guys,
    bring up Bowker ( yes, check out his stats)
    bench Pedro
    and get Pressley back there

  97. Chuck H. says:

    I think the Bucs did well acquiring Lee and Ludwick as they are bound to help at the plate, but there are a couple of players holding down the productivity of the team. Those players, in my judgement, are Alverez and Veras. Get rid of those two and replace them with anybody who can help this team go the distance. Veras has personally lost at least 4 or 5 games for us and why he’s still here is a mystery. GO BUCS!!!

 
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