Nationals “have expressed interest in Derrek Lee”

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Washington has been linked to just about every veteran first baseman on the market this offseason, so not surprisingly Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nationals “have expressed interest in Derrek Lee.”

Lee is 35 years old and coming off his worst season since 1998, hitting .260/.347/.428 with 19 homers in 148 games for the Cubs and Braves, but he played nearly the entire time with a thumb injury that eventually required surgery and had posted an OPS above .800 for 10 straight seasons.

Ladson adds that the Nationals “are still in the mix for Adam LaRoche” and they’ve been linked to him throughout the offseason, so it’s unclear which first baseman is atop their wish list.

Josh Willingham is already on the roster and the Nationals could seemingly just plug him in at first base, but general manager Mike Rizzo has made it very clear he doesn’t view that as a viable option and Willingham is likely to be traded eventually.

Tim Beckham to miss six to seven weeks after undergoing core muscle surgery

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Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com reports that Orioles third baseman Tim Beckham underwent core muscle surgery in Philadelphia on Thursday and is expected to miss the next six to seven weeks.

Beckham, 28, was originally diagnosed with a strained left groin. He sustained the injury during spring training and reaggravated it on Monday against the Indians.

Beckham was off to a slow start, batting .179/.247/.262 in 93 plate appearances. Danny Valencia and Jace Peterson should handle the hot corner while Beckham is out.