Does Derrek Lee make sense for Angels?

June, 3, 2010
6/03/10
10:00
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So are we supposed to believe this one?
    Excellent baseball sources are telling us the Angels and the Cubs may be involved in trade talks that could send Derrek Lee to L.A. The Angels lost their starting first baseman, Kendry Morales, last weekend when he broke his leg in a celebration after he hit a walk-off grand slam. Lee was a late scratch from Wednesday's lineup because of tightness in his right hamstring.

On a scale of 1 to 10, here are Derrek Lee's last six seasons (including this one): 10-2-6-5-7-2. At $13 million per season, you want to see at least a 6 every season, which means Lee's been worth his salary just half the time. Still, he wouldn't be a terrible gamble if the Cubs are willing to throw some money into the deal. As usual, the "winner" depends on who else is included; I certainly wouldn't give up more than one Grade B prospect to get Derrek Lee (and considering how poorly he's played this spring, that's probably too much).

Is Derrek Lee better than some sort of platoon involving Mike Napoli and Mike Ryan, with Robb Quinlan occasionally tossed in there for old times' sake? Probably. But not by a lot. But as long as they're within shouting distance of first place, they have to keep looking at their weak spots. First base is obviously one of them, but third base is worse, plus two-fifths of the rotation and a goodly chunk of the bullpen. Considering Mike Scioscia's man-crush on Jeff Mathis, when Mathis comes off the DL, Scioscia should probably just install him behind the plate and give most of the first-base action to Napoli. The Angels need to make some in-house fixes, and this is probably the easiest.

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