Be honest, you forgot Derrek Lee was on the Pirates. It’s a forgivable offense, as he only appeared in five games with his new team before being placed on the disabled list last month with a fractured left wrist.
Anyway, Lee is back in the lineup for the Pirates this afternoon gainst the Cubs and just drove in a run with a single in the top of the first inning.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle has advocated bringing Lee back next season, but it will be interesting to see what happens with him this offseason. Increasingly injury-prone, the 35-year-old first baseman entered played today with a .255/.330/.425 batting line and a .755 OPS since the start of the 2010 season. Lee was fortunate enough to get a one-year, $7.25 million contract with the Orioles last winter, but with MLB general managers beginning to shy away from aging veteran sluggers, he’ll be lucky if he gets half that in his next deal.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.