Derrek Lee and the Orioles are making their one-year deal official today, and Don Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the contract is worth $7.25 million in guaranteed money plus another $2.75 million in potential “performance bonuses.”
Lee just finished a five-year, $65 million deal signed with the Cubs in 2006, but is a 34-year-old coming off a career-worst season filled with thumb problems and the going rate for a veteran first baseman/corner outfielder coming off a down or injury wrecked season appears to be around $8-10 million.
Lance Berkman got $8 million from the Cardinals. Carlos Pena got $10 million from the Cubs. Magglio Ordonez got $10 million from the Tigers. And on the low end Hideki Matsui and Lyle Overbay each got $5 million. Lee’s deal could be worth up to $10 million and I like his chances of bouncing back in 2011, in which case he probably has more upside than any of those other guys.
The Mariners announced on Tuesday that second baseman Dee Gordon has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a strained left quad. Infielder Tim Lopes was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and pitcher Parker Markel was designated for assignment.
Gordon, 31, apparently suffered the injury diving back into first base during Monday’s game against the Rangers. The speedster is batting .280/.306/.367 with 14 extra-base hits, 27 RBI, 26 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 284 plate appearances.
Lopes, 25, will provide infield depth for the Mariners while Gordon is on the mend. At Tacoma, Lopes hit .302/.362/.480 with 10 home runs, 60 RBI, 58 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases in 403 PA.
Gordon’s injury comes at a bad time for the Mariners with the July 31 trade deadline on the horizon. He is under contract for 2020 at $13.5 million and has a 2021 club option worth $14 million with a $1 million buyout. A contending team might have traded for Gordon. Now the Mariners will have to wait until the offseason to explore that possibility.