As we hinted a few hours ago, the Pirates are getting a first baseman.
The Orioles have sent Derrek Lee to the Pirates for fellow first baseman Aaron Baker, a 2009 11th-round pick hitting .285/.353/.474 with 15 homers for Single-A Bradenton this season.
Lee was always movable for the Orioles, but Baltimore pretty much had to let him go now with Chris Davis in the fold. They’ll likely give Davis a long look at third base, with Mark Reynolds making the move to first. Davis has also played plenty of first base, but he is the better defender at the hot corner.
Lee hit just .246 with 12 homers and 41 RBI for the Orioles this season, but most of his production has come of late. He entered Saturday with a .261/.306/.533 line, six homers and 19 RBI in 92 at-bats this month.
So, the odds are good that Lee will be an upgrade over Lyle Overbay in Pittsburgh. Since the price was right, it’s a nice pickup for the Pirates.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.