The New York Yankees have contacted Derrek Lee to see if the first baseman is interested in playing baseball after he sat out all of last season according to David Waldstein. Lee last played for the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011.
With Mark Teixeira’s injury and no viable option to replace him, the Yankees are investigating every angle as they hope to replace Teixeira’s bat in a lineup that desperately needs it. Lee, 37, hit .267/.325/.446 with 19 home runs and 59 RBI in 2011 between the Orioles and Pirates. After being acquired by the Pirates he hit .337/.398/.584 in 101 at bats.
The biggest question is whether Lee would be able to get in baseball shape quickly enough to make any sort of contribution to the Yankees. He is 37-years-old and will turn 38 in September and hasn’t played baseball in a year. Would Lee really be an upgrade for the Yankees over anyone they currently have on the roster.
Right now, Dan Johnson and Juan Rivera are the leading candidates to fill in for Teixeira. Neither seems like a very good fit to play every day which is why the Yankees are exploring options outside of the organization. The Yankees also checked in with the San Diego Padres regarding the availability of their third baseman, Chase Headley but it is believed the asking price is well beyond the reach of the Yankees.
Adding Lee wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing on a minor league contract. There is still enough time in spring training to see what he can offer. With a minor league deal there would be no commitment so if Lee doesn’t have anything left in the tank the Yankees don’t have to pay him.
There is no reason to leave any stone unturned. Bringing Lee in on a minor league deal would be a good idea, even if it doesn’t go anywhere. Right now, it doesn’t look like anything is close but the Yankees are out there and they are looking.