MLB Trade Deadline: Derrek Lee to Pirates for 1B Aaron Baker, Minor League Prospect

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The Orioles are getting a little busy as they’ve already traded set-up man Koji and now veteran first basemen Derrek Lee. Lee will now be a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team who has surprised many as being in a tight race for the NL Central (lucky them). The Pirates’ have been playing with Lyle Overbay at first base and felt they needed an upgrade in order to compete with the Cardinals, Brewers, and Reds in their division.

This is great news for us Orioles fans. Not only does Chris Davis, who the Orioles also acquired last night in the Koji trade from the Rangers, get his permanent place at first starting today but we also get rid of Lee who really hasn’t done much offensively for this team.

As for what the Orioles get, it’s not a lot to be excited about but remember, it’s for Derrek Lee. The O’s acquire 23-year-old first basemen Aaron Baker. Yes another first basemen after getting Chris Davis but this kid is only playing in single-A ball now and is 2 years younger than Davis. The Orioles will most likely move him to another position and if Chris Davis doesn’t work out for some reason, Baker will take over duties at first. This season, he’s batting .282 with 15 home runs, 73 RBI, and 92 strike outs in 103 games. Over his 3 year minor league career, he has a .262/.344/.451 line with 36 home runs and 184 RBI. So, he has okay numbers.

At this point, the only trade pieces left for the O’s right now are Jeremy Guthrie, Jim Johnson, and Vlad Guerrero. I doubt any of the 3 will go at this point. The Tigers are extremely interested in Jim Johnson but we know that he’s basically been labeled as untouchable. I doubt anyone will want Vlad and if so, the O’s won’t get much for him anyways. As for Guthrie, it seemed he’d be the one most likely to be sent packing but now there are reports that teams aren’t willing to give enough for the Orioles to trade him. I mean the Orioles are asking for a major-league ready starting pitcher in return and if the pitcher isn’t great, a prospect as well. Come on, the guy is 5-14 this season with a 4.18 ERA. Yes, he’s the “ace” for this team and he’ll be traded to a team using him in the 4 or 5 spot but he’s really not having a good year. At this point, I’d like him to stay here to have him, Arrieta, the new righty Tommy Hunter, and Alfredo Simon as the rotation.

With these trades, I actually like what the Orioles are doing. I’ve been reading comments from Orioles fans on the O’s website about how terrible McPhail, Angelos, and this organization is but I like the plan. I can see their vision and their plan for this franchise. Look, they have the 3 core guys of Jones, Markakis, and Wieters. Then you have Hardy and Reynolds who I would add as the 4th and 5th player of this core team. Then there’s Davis at first. The second basemen situation needs to be figured out because Brian Roberts is old, hurt, and no longer the answer. So, already the core of the team is pretty good offensively and defensively (Reynolds will get better as he gets older). Then you look at the pitching and you have the new guy Tommy Hunter, Alfredo Simon who will remain a starter, Jake Arrieta, and Guthrie (unless he gets traded) for now. But, 3 years from now, you have Britton, Matusz, and Tillman (unless any are traded) who will be with Arrieta and Hunter as the 5-man starting rotation. All of them are around the same age and at that point they’ll be around 26-28. Also, they’ll have these 3 years to get better in Triple-A and in the majors when/if they are needed. 2 or 3 years from now, these guys will be in their prime and they’ll be good.

I like what the Orioles are doing. I see the vision, I understand it, and I’m looking forward to it. The Orioles are keeping their core as well as signing guys who aren’t old veterans in their last year or two in the league. They’re signing young to mid-20 year olds who will be with this team for a few years.

I’m sure there’s tons of people out there who disagree with me. If you’re one of them, let me know. Tell my why. If you agree with me, tell me why as well in the comments!