PHILADELPHIA — They filmed the ’80s flick “Trading Places” here, so I guess it’s appropriate to make that the them for today. You already know about Derrek Lee — more on him in a moment. But there’s also this, from a few trusty sources around the game …
The Pirates continue to reach out for an outfielder. As of late this morning, they were still in play for Ryan Ludwick. But I’m told he is not their top target. Jason Kubel, perhaps? The Pirates also would welcome some pitching help, especially another late-inning reliever.
»»» Manager Clint Hurdle said the team must decided by pregame Monday whether or not to put shortstop Ronny Cedeno (right knee) on the DL. Cedeno took the hint and said he feels pretty good about his chances of playing tomorrow.
»»» Now, on to Lee. He will NOT join the team today, even though he played yesterday in New York, a two-hour drive up the highway from here. Lyle Overbay will start today at first base against the Phillies. Will Overbay still be with the Pirates after Lee arrives? Probably not.
… I asked Overbay how he felt about the situation. “What situation?” Overbay replied. “I don’t know anything different than you do.” I don’t buy that. Overbay and Hurdle had a private talk in the skipper’s office this morning. A half-hour later, after the bulk of the players arrived on the team bus, there was a closed-door team meeting in the clubhouse.
… Hurdle’s reaction to getting Lee: “I am happy. He’ll get the volume of games at first base. He’s a veteran major league player who’s got a very strong pedigree. We believe he’s got good, productive baseball left in him. I spoke with him last night. He’s anxious to join the club.”
… The Pirates essentially will pick up the balance of Lee’s contract, which puts them on the hook for about $2.3 million. The Orioles will cover whatever bonus clauses Lee triggers the rest of the way.
Lineups for today’s game:
Pirates (54-51) – 1. Xavier Paul lf, 2. Garrett Jones rf, 3. Andrew McCutchen cf, 4. Neil Walker 2b, 5. Pedro Alvarez 3b, 6. Lyle Overbay 1b, 7. Brandon Wood ss, 8. Eric Fryer c, 9. Jeff Karstens rhp (8-5, 2.41)
Phillies (67-39) – 1. Jimmy Rollins ss, 2. Shane Victorino cf, 3. Chase Utley 2b, 4. Ryan Howard 1b, 5. Hunter Pence rf, 6. Raul Ibanez lf, 7. Brian Schneider c, 8. Michael Martinez 3b, 9. Vance Worley rhp (7-1, 2.02)