The Orioles are targeting Derrek Lee, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The team renewed discussions with the free agent first baseman a week ago and are open to a deal in the one-year, $8MM range, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney. Rosenthal reports that the team is more comfortable signing Lee for one year than committing to Adam LaRoche for three.
The Orioles will have some competition for LaRoche, who appeals to the Nationals, and Lee. The Padres offered Lee a one-year deal worth more than $8MM before agreeing to terms with Brad Hawpe, according to Rosenthal. San Diego would have been a good fit for Lee, who is interested in playing for a contender and returning to the West Coast.
The Angels are “cool” on Lee, according to Rosenthal. They tried to acquire him after Kendry Morales went down last summer and could pair him with Morales at first/DH.
Lee is a potential bargain for 2011. He's coming off thumb surgery and had a down year by his standards, but finished the 2010 season strong with the Braves and hit 35 homers as recently as 2009.