Orioles ship Derrek Lee to Pittsburgh for Aaron Baker

10 Comments

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.

No lease extension, but O’s and governor tout partnership

orioles camden yards
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
0 Comments

The Baltimore Orioles and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore announced a joint commitment to what they called a “multi-decade, public-private partnership” to revitalize the Camden Yards sports complex.

The statement from the team and the state’s new governor came Wednesday, the deadline for the Orioles to exercise a one-time, five-year extension to their lease at Camden Yards. The team was not planning to exercise that option, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the club hadn’t announced its decision.

With no extension, the lease is set to expire at the end of this year, but the team and the Maryland Stadium Authority can keep negotiating. Wednesday’s joint release seemed to be an attempt to calm any nerves in Baltimore about the team’s future.

“I am looking forward to continuing to collaborate with Governor Moore, his administration, and the Maryland Stadium Authority in order to bring to Baltimore the modern, sustainable, and electrifying sports and entertainment destination the state of Maryland deserves,” Orioles CEO John Angelos said.

“We greatly appreciate Governor Moore’s vision and commitment as we seize the tremendous opportunity to redefine the paradigm of what a Major League Baseball venue represents and thereby revitalize downtown Baltimore. It is my hope and expectation that, together with Governor Moore and the new members and new chairman of the MSA board, we can again fully realize the potential of Camden Yards to serve as a catalyst for Baltimore’s second renaissance.”

Republican Larry Hogan, the state’s previous governor, signed a bill last year increasing bond authorization for M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens, and Camden Yards. The measure allowed borrowing of up to $600 million for each stadium.

“When Camden Yards opened 30 years ago, the Baltimore Orioles revolutionized baseball and set the bar for the fan experience,” Moore, a Democrat, said Wednesday. “We share the commitment of the Orioles organization to ensuring that the team is playing in a world-class facility at Camden Yards for decades to come and are excited to advance our public-private partnership.”

Angelos recently reaffirmed that the Orioles would stay in Baltimore, although he dressed down a reporter who asked for more clarity on the future of the team’s ownership situation. Angelos was sued last year by his brother Lou, who claimed John Angelos seized control of the Orioles at his expense.