Derrek Lee is one of the bigger name free agents not to find a job this offseason, but the 36-year-old first baseman is not ready to retire.
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Lee hasn’t called it quits and is “still open to the right opportunity.”
Last offseason Lee signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal with the Orioles and was later traded to the Pirates. He was a shell of his former self, but .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games is still reasonable production.
It’ll be interesting to see if he’s willing to accept a minor-league contract as Opening Day nears, because he might need an injury to a starting first baseman to snag a big-league deal.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.