Another trade, coming on the heels of the O’s double-header shellacking at the hands of the Yankees (and to think, the day started out so well with Chris Tillman’s nice first inning). The Orioles sent Derrek Lee to the Pirates for 23 year-old first-baseman Aaron Baker. Lee’s contract is more than his production is worth, so just getting rid of him is more or less a slight win (even with the money the O’s are sending along). Being able to add a “prospect” in the deal is a bonus, and I’m happy that someone was even willing to take him (thanks goes to the Cubs for deciding to hold on to Carlos Pena for some reason).
Baker is hitting .288/.355/.476 in High A-Ball this year, and seems to be a more or less middling hitter given his age and position. No monster holes in his game, but he seems a little below average at everything he does with the bat – he walks, but not a lot; K’s a fair amount but not a ton; has some pop, but not a tremendous amount. If he was, say, 20, one could dream on him a bit. At 23 it’s pretty unlikely he’ll do anything significant at the big league level.
So essentially this was the Orioles helping out the Pirates a bit while opening up a spot for Chris David to play for the rest of the season, which is fine.