Pirates “steamed” Derrek Lee is “taking his time getting here”

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Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review just posted an interesting note on Twitter saying: “Privately, folks in Pirates clubhouse are steamed Derrek Lee is taking his time getting here.”

Of course, it couldn’t have been all that private if a newspaper reporter knows about it.

Biertempfel notes that Hunter Pence took a late-night flight across the country to be in the Phillies’ lineup as soon as possible, whereas Lee only has to travel from New York (where the Orioles are playing the Yankees) to Philadelphia (where the Pirates are playing the Phillies).

And since Lee hasn’t arrived yet, the Pirates are giving Lyle Overbay what could be his final start at first base this afternoon.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.