A few weeks ago a friend of mine that works in baseball (but not in the Rays’ organization) suggested that the Rays would add a pretty solid first baseman in the off-season: Derrek Lee.
At the time I figured, I am not really in the breaking news business (despite my little foray into that arena yesterday) so I will wait for one of the full-time scribes covering the team to break this story and then I will swoop in with some expert commentary. The only problem is, no one has written this rumor yet.
Luckily, my buddy Joe Aiello at Sweet Spot blog The View From the Bleachers opened the door. Joe has a great piece up today evaluating whether Carlos Pena fills the Cubs’ hole at first base. Here is the best part:
Since 2007, [Pena's] first year with Tampa Bay, he has posted OPS+ values of 172, 129, 133, and 102. 2010′s poor showing has more to do with a ghastly .291 BABIP than anything else, so he’s a safe bet to rebound back into his 2008/2009 form.
By comparison, Derrek Lee during that time had OPS+ values of 130, 108, 146, and 103.
Both players are comparable but I think Lee fits the Rays better than Pena because Lee has a career .953 OPS vs. southpaws while Pena has a .750 OPS.
Remind me again what our biggest lineup hole was down the stretch and in the ALDS?
So, if Lee really is in the $5MM salary range, as my buddy speculated, he fills two big holes for the Rays. (1B and a right-handed bat with decent power).