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Derrek Lee’s one-year deal with Orioles worth $7.25 million plus incentives

Jan 6, 2011, 11:44 AM EDT

Derrek Lee with Braves

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.

  1. Panda Claus - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    This deal could continue the change of culture in Baltimore. Up until very recently, the perception has been the O’s would need to way overpay someone to sign there (see: Teixeira, Mark; Martinez, Victor). This deal actually seems pretty fair to both sides.

    • paintan8 - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      Baltimore has actually done a nice job this off-season without spending bajillions of dollars. Their infield defense and bullpen will be much better, taking a lot of pressure off of their young starters. If Jones, Weiters, Lee, and Reynolds swing big bats consistently, they might be a fun team to watch.

  2. randomdigits - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:43 PM

    I find it hard to believe that he took 1/7.25 to play in Baltimore over 1/8 to play in San Diego. I think it more likely that the Padre’s number reached 8 million after he reached milestones that will pay him 10 in Baltimore.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jan 6, 2011 at 12:47 PM

      It’s tough to rebuild value as a hitter in San Diego. Lee might cash in after a good season at Camden Yard.

      • randomdigits - Jan 6, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        I would be saddened to find out that their are GMs out there unfamilar with the concept of park effects.

        My disbelief stems from a number of reasons, not the least of which is that 8 million is well above the amount I heard reported earlier in the offseason that the Padres had to spend. He also stated a preference to play on the west coast and for a contender.

        As an O’s fan I am tickled to get him and hope he makes the 10 million this season.

  3. bigtrav425 - Jan 6, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    If the Padres field wasnt as big as yellowstone Lee might of actually wanted to go there

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