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Orioles agree to one-year contract with Derrek Lee

Dec 31, 2010, 3:32 PM EDT

Derrek Lee braves

No doubt sick of waiting for Adam LaRoche to accept multi-year offers that have been on the table for weeks now the Orioles have moved on to Plan B at first base, with Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reporting that they’ve agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Derrek Lee.

And ultimately the Orioles are probably better off that LaRoche dragged his feet. Instead of making a multi-year commitment to a non-elite first baseman they’ll see what Lee has left in the tank for a year and reevaluate things next offseason when several big name first basemen may be on the market.

Plus, there’s a strong chance Lee will be better than LaRoche in 2011 anyway. Lee is coming off arguably the worst season of his career, yet his .774 OPS is basically the same as the .788 OPS posted by LaRoche. Age and health are also factors, but Lee is one season removed from an MVP-caliber performance and has a half-dozen seasons in his track record superior to LaRoche’s best years.

As for LaRoche, this seemingly sets him up to sign with the Nationals, who were also in the mix for Lee.

  1. Panda Claus - Dec 31, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    Welcome to DC Mr. LaRoche. We’ll see if it was worth holding out for a 3-year deal.

    I can’t be happier that the O’s finally have a willing and able first baseman again. One year is better than nothing.

  2. randomdigits - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:42 PM

    And there goes LaRoche’s leverage a second year in a row, one would think he would learn his lesson. Dude, you are Adam LaRoche if someone offers you a three year deal take it.

  3. baseballisboring - Dec 31, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    I actually don’t think they even had a 3 year offer out to Laroche…I think that was just a rumor. He’d be incredibly foolish not to take 3 years from anybody, unless he really wants to win bad and the O’s weren’t an option because of that.

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