Pirates Making strong sales pitch
Internally, the Pirates brain trust has decided that veteran Derrek Lee will be among their top priorities this off-season. Lee (.261 AVG – 16 HR – 51 RBI) who is batting .395 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI’s in 10 games with the Pirates, has enjoyed success with the Pirates and the 36 year old continues to look at home in the National League.
Scouts believe he can still be an impact player for at least another year and maybe two.
The Pirates are prepared to match or exceed Lee’s current salary of $7.25 million but their focus from now until the end of the season is making a strong sales pitch and selling Lee on Pittsburgh.
Reasons for concerns from some team officials is that Lee had little to no interest in signing with the Pirates last off-season, and the Pirates will be hard pressed to sell Lee on the Pirates being a contender in 2012. The Pirates though could be the most logical spot for Lee.
There won’t be a high demand for first baseman and the market will be highlighted by two of the games best hitters in Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. Chicago’s Carlos Pena can also hit the open market.
In addition to the Cardinals, Brewers and Cubs who hope to resign their own, only Washington,Texas (both possible Fielder suitors) Baltimore (who won’t resign Lee) and possibly the Dodgers are believed to be teams who could be in the market for a first baseman.