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Yankees are trying to talk Derrek Lee out of retirement

Mar 11, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT

Derrek Lee AP

Mark Teixeira‘s wrist injury has the Yankees searching for a short-term replacement at first base and David Waldstein of the New York Times reports that they’re trying to talk Derrek Lee into coming out of retirement.

Lee sat out all of last season after failing to get an offer he liked, but according to Waldstein the 37-year-old has some interest in playing for the Yankees.

Lee split the 2011 season between the Orioles and Pirates, hitting .267 with 19 homers and a .771 OPS in 113 games. He had similar numbers in 2010.

Obviously a 37-year-old who didn’t play at all last season and posted a sub-.800 OPS in 2010 and 2011 is hardly an ideal pickup, but at this late stage in the offseason there just isn’t much to choose from in terms of veteran bats who can also capably play first base on a regular basis (in other words, not Jim Thome).

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    If there’s anything a team of brittle old men needs…it’s another brittle old man, who has been retired since the end of 2011.

    They do make first basemen under the age of 30, right?!

    • natslady - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Yes. The Nats have extras–but they are prospects or rookies.

    • tuberippin - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      They called Carlos Delgado, but were concerned about his ability to get from home plate to first base with a walker.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        I hear if you put some cut-up tennis balls on the knobby parts, you really speed those suckers up.

        Granted, I assume that counts as performance enhancer. Although I’m not sure if the new CBA allows testing for tennis balls?!

      • jolink653 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        Couldn’t we just have him hit and have someone else running out of the box for him? It would save the tracks the walker would dig up in the infield

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      it’s a rental, Tex could be back by May, doesn’t cost anything to see what he say’s
      then work him out.

      there aren’t many good 30 year old first baseman sitting by their phone either.

      most of those brittle old men played in the American League Championship series last year.

    • derklempner - Mar 11, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      *Cue Old Gator making a statement about wanting to trade Tweeter away from the Feesh.*

  2. psuravens19 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    As an O’s fan this offseason couldn’t be going any better…. The Red Sox sign Victorino to a three year deal and now the Yank’s are trying to sign Lee.

    • Uncle Charlie - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      And the Orioles did…

      • psuravens19 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Not much, but with this year’s FA class, I’m glad they didn’t waste money on a Victorino type player.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        They avoided overreacting and stayed away from the rash/dumb move. In prior years, it would have been the Os tring to talk Lee out of retirement and over spending on overrated players. I’m fine with them remaining calm.

      • tuberippin - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:19 PM

        For as much as the O’s have been criticized for not doing anything in free agency, I think people forgot that they lost 2 of their 3 OF starters before the playoffs (Reimold and Markakis). You get both of them back healthy (a big “if”, but nonetheless) and that’s a heck of an upgrade from the Lew Ford/Nate McLouth tandem.

        Still, O’s needed to upgrade their pitching and they didn’t, and that might come back to bite them as the season wears on, given their pitchers’ histories of injuries (Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman, Wada et al)

    • fanofevilempire - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      didn’t the Yanks dust off the O’s last year.

  3. dowhatifeellike - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Jeez. Don’t they have anyone in their farm system who could fill in for 4-5 weeks? Someone whose development would be aided by a month in the bigs?

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      I was saying the same thing…

  4. mybrunoblog - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:30 AM

    Man this is getting sad. Can we call Chris Chambliss too and see if he has any interest? I hear Steve Balboni is available also.

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Always nice to get a Balboni mention.

      • deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        But you forgot to mention Kevin Maas.

      • Glenn - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        What’s Wally Pipp up to?

    • jolink653 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      Maybe we can get Bobby Bonilla to play first…The Mets would be picking up the tab anyway

  5. dowhatifeellike - Mar 11, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    “I don’t care what the problem is, just throw some money at it and make it go away.” – Yankees

  6. tuberippin - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Man, the Yankees must really not want Carlos Lee.

  7. natslady - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Is this for real?

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Monday that he plans to reach out to Chipper Jones’ agent.
    It’s worth a shot, but all indications are that Chipper is happy in retirement. Even if he did entertain the idea of returning it would surely be with the Braves, who could use some help at the hot corner. Cashman is looking for someone that can help out at the corner infield spots with Mark Teixeira sidelined.

    • chill1184 - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:47 AM

      Is their a link for that? If true all I have to say is LOL

    • tuberippin - Mar 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      The Yankees reportedly called Chipper in November or December asking the same inquiry. I guess this time they tried but offered a larger salary.

  8. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:46 AM

    Tino Martinez could probably still pop 20+ homers in Yankee Stadium, right?!

    Donny Ballgame could probably moonlight for the Bombers. Spend a couple days in the dugout with the Dodgers and then jet-set across country to don the pinstripes again.

    I think Nick Johnson could be coaxed out of his recent retirement. Granted, you’ll need an immediate backup option for when he strains something signing the contract or packing his bags to head to Spring Training.

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      “I think Nick Johnson could be coaxed out of his recent retirement. Granted, you’ll need an immediate backup option for when he strains something signing the contract or packing his bags to head to Spring Training.”

      Okay, had I been drinking something, I probably would have spit it out and then you’d be liable for damage to my keyboard. Be careful with your humor- you have no idea the damage it can do.

  9. xpensivewinos - Mar 11, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Little first, little third, then relegated to the bench……..this sounds like a job for Ty Wigginton!

  10. crnvic847 - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:11 PM

    What about Jermaine Dye?

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 11, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I thought the Phillies outfield looked pretty sad, but the Yankees corners are as sad as it gets. They better hope Jeter is 100% or this is a team that could be in trouble early.

    Add that comment to the Yankees Doom Watch.

    • bolweevils2 - Mar 12, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      If you think that’s as sad as it gets, you are apparently unfamiliar with a team known as the New York Mets.

  12. mundial8 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:08 PM

    Johnny Damon is available… I can see him now ‘PICK ME CASHMAN! PICK ME!!!’

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