There is alot of talk around the web that Derrek Lee is the top guy in the sights of Mike Rizzo for first base. Of course, Adam LaRoche is still a strong possibility, but lately I’ve heard alot more about Lee than LaRoche. And no, I’m not talking about the pitcher Lee. So who is Derrek Lee and what would the Nats expect to get out of him?
Lee was one of the better first basemen of the last decade. He managed, from 2000-2009, to have a total OPS of .899, in those 10 seasons he only had three seasons with an OPS below .860, and even those were respectable. He averaged 27 HRs per year in that time, and had one injury plagued season where he only played in 50 games, his next lowest total was 140. Besides hitting well and being durable, he was considered a very good fielder. His career UZR/150 (which isn’t calculated on fangraphs before 2002, so it missed some of his younger seasons) is at 0.9, meaning just above average. And according to baseball reference, his Rtot and Rdrs numbers (both defensive value measurements) were just above average for his career as well.
But now he’s 35
The problem, of course, is that the Nats wouldn’t be signing Derrek Lee from 2000-2009, they’d be signing him for 2011. Obviously, he isn’t the hitter he was 5 years ago, but it isn’t all terrible with him.