We've told you that the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates have been deep in discussions centered around Derrek Lee. Now those discussions have culminated in a deal, the details of which we provide courtesy of Dan Connolly:
The #Orioles will be getting Class A 1Bman Aaron Baker for Lee from Pirates. There also will be a minor amount of cash involved.
Here's what Derrek Lee isn't: a particularly good first baseman. He had a 104 OPS+ a year ago. He has a 97 OPS+ this season. He's nearly 36 and his skills are eroding.
But here's what Derrek Lee is: an apparent upgrade over Lyle Overbay, who's been worse. Overbay has been the Pirates' regular first baseman all season, but he's responded by posting an 81 OPS+, which obviously isn't acceptable. Here's the headline of a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article from Friday:
Pirates Notebook: Hurdle said time running out for Overbay
Aaron Baker? The Orioles get back a 23-year-old lefty first baseman with an .826 OPS in advanced-A ball. He's a power hitter who's trying to develop the rest of his game, and chances are he never will to the point at which he's a contributor in the majors, but you don't get big-time talent in return for an old Derrek Lee, and the fact that Baker simply has a chance is enough.
With Lee gone, look for the Orioles to bring up Chris Davis, who they acquired in Saturday's Koji Uehara trade. There's been talk about Davis taking over at third base, with Mark Reynolds shifting to first.