After being denied repeatedly this year by top free agents despite making strong financial offers, the Baltimore Orioles finally made a splash yesterday by signing Derrek Lee to a one-year deal that is believed to be worth between $8 million and $10 million.For Lee, Baltimore is the perfect landing spot. He’s coming off the worst year of his career and admitted that he was willing to take a one-year deal so that he could prove his worth again. Playing in Baltimore doesn’t come with nearly the pressure or expectations of his two homes last year — Chicago and Atlanta — so if Lee has anything left in the tank, he should have a good opportunity to revive his career.
Baltimore has whiffed on countless big-name free agent targets in recent years and desperately needed someone to willingly agree to play for them. Lee is the second significant addition the Orioles have made this offseason — they traded for Mark Reynolds in early December — but Baltimore is still not on the level of the Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees.
The Orioles had been negotiating with both Lee and Adam LaRoche to play first base, but talks with LaRoche had cooled this week.
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