We heard yesterday that the Orioles agreed to terms with Derrek Lee on a one-year contract. Now we’re learning some of the potential details.
While Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun writes that the contract is expected to be worth $8 million, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports hears that the deal includes incentives and could be worth as much as $10 million.
That’s a big price to pay for a 35-year-old first baseman coming off a 774 OPS and thumb surgery, but it’s right in line with the market value. Remember, Lance Berkman received $8 million from the Cardinals and the Cubs are paying Carlos Pena $10 million, though some of the money is deferred.
As Aaron pointed out yesterday and Buster Olney of ESPN.com wrote this morning, committing only one year to Lee gives the Orioles the ability to be flexible going into next winter, when Prince Fielder will be a free agent.
The Royals are a game and a half out of the crazy AL Wild Card race — six games back of the Indians in the division — so they don’t have a huge margin for error. They got some bad news last night, though, that could have a major impact on their playoff hopes: closer Kelvin Herrera experienced tightness in his right forearm in the ninth inning of last night’s win, forcing him out of the game.
Herrera walked the bases loaded, then went to a 2-0 count on the next batter before leaving the game. That last pitch was a fastball that clocked in at 91 m.p.h., which is NOT a typical Kelvin Herrera fastball. Herrera didn’t talk after the game but his teammate Sal Perez said that Herrera told him “I’m tight. I don’t feel my forearm.”
Reporters left the clubhouse before an official diagnosis or prognosis could be delivered, so expect an update some time today. If Herrera is out the closer duties could fall to Scott Alexander or Brandon Maurer.
Albert Pujols had a big night last night, driving in four runs as the Angels beat the Rangers 10-1. Three of those runs came on a three-run homer. That was the 610th home run of Pujols’ career, snapping a tie for eighth on the all-time list with Sammy Sosa. It also made him baseball’s all-time leader for home runs by a player born outside the U.S.
Pujols was aware of the accomplishment, of course, and noted how honored he was after the game:
”It’s pretty special. Obviously, all the great players from the Dominican Republic, Latin America, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, they’ve gone through the big leagues and to be able to accomplish something like this is very humbling.”
After Sosa, who is from the Dominican Republic, comes Rafael Palmeiro (569); Manny Ramirez (555); David Ortiz (541); Carlos Delgado (473); Jose Canseco (462); Adrian Beltre and Miguel Cabrera (459).