Derrek Lee
Derrek Lee
43-Year-Old First Baseman1B
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Derrek Lee in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Signed a one-year, $7.25 million contract with the Orioles in January 2011. The deal includes performance bonuses that could raise the value to $10 million.
1BFree Agent  
March 14, 2013
Lee will not come out of retirement to play for the Yankees, Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports.
Lee slashed a respectable .267/.325/.446 in 2011, his final big league season, but he was already well past his prime and wouldn't have gotten any better after taking a year off. Remove him from your draft board if he was on there for some reason. Even if he changes his mind at some point, we don't anticipate significant fantasy production from Lee.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Pittsburgh rescued Lee after the first baseman's first foray into the American League did not go as well as expected with the Orioles. Lee hit .246 with 12 homers and a career low .706 OPS in 334 at-bats in Baltimore before a deadline deal revitalized his season with the Bucs. Lee mashed seven dingers in 101 at-bats, registering a blistering .982 OPS. It's highly unlikely Lee hits like he did for the Pirates last season, but another year or two just below his career norms wouldn't be surprising. The 16-year veteran showed in the second half of 2011 that he can still play.
Lee got off to a slow start hitting .205 in April and then put up arguably the worst stretch of his career since he became an everyday regular as he hit just .251/.335/.416 with 16 home runs with the Cubs before he was traded to Atlanta in August. He turned his season around by hitting .287/.384/.465 with the Braves. While Lee dealt with a bulging disk in his back with the Cubs, he also played with a torn ligament in his right thumb after he was traded to Atlanta. Lee still has the skill set to be a productive regular at first base as he draws walks at a good rate and hits for power. Injuries and a low BAPIP rate (.309 compared to .321 career average) may have played a part. Still, his power may never rebound to the 35-homer season of 2009. However, he could offer decent value after signing with Baltimore if others think he's washed up because he is 35 this season.
Lee quietly had the second best season of his career last year, posting a .306/.393/.579 line with 35 homers in just 532 at-bats. At 34, Lee no longer steals bases, but given the stability of his walk rate, contact rate and BABIP, he's a safe bet to hit for average and get on base. The big question is whether the power spike was an anomaly or something he can sustain. It's probably wise to split the difference.
Lee's career year in 2005 is far enough away now that we can pretty safely consider it an outlier. Over the last two seasons, Lee's counting stats are almost identical, though in 2008 it took him 56 more at-bats. At 33, Lee's best days are behind him, but there's no reason to expect him to drop off a cliff, and a mid-30s power spike is always possible. Once a good source of speed from an unlikely position, it's also worth noting that Lee hasn't stolen more than eight bases in three years.
Lee had a very solid year from a baseball standpoint -- .317/.400/.513 with top notch defense -- but if you drafted him for your fantasy team, chances are you were disappointed. First and foremost, Lee stole just six bases, down from his 15-20 per full season the last few years. Lee also got off to a slow start in the power department, and finished with just 22 home runs, a far cry from his career-high 46 in 2005. But all things considered, 2007 is probably a good barometer of what to expect from Lee going forward. At age 32, the 6-6 first baseman isn't likely to increase his steals, and Lee's peak year was way out of line with his 25-30 HR career norms.
An early season wrist injury cost Lee most of the 2006 campaign and sapped his power when he came back too soon. But by late August, he looked like his old self, slugging close to .600 over his final 56 at-bats. Don't expect a repeat of his career year in 2005, but he should match his rosy preseason projections for 2006. It's also worth noting that Lee stole eight bases in just 175 at-bats last year, so we'd count on at least 10-15 over a full season in 2007, a rare bonus from a first baseman.
Lee did his best Albert Pujols impersonation last year, but his numbers were so out of line with his career marks that we don't expect a repeat performance. Still, Lee showed real growth, drawing 17 more walks in 2005 than in 2004, and striking out 19 less times, and even his second half OPS of .960 was a big jump from his normal .870 range. Expect a season somewhere in between his monster 2005 and his very serviceable 2004, and don't forget to factor in his 10-15 stolen bases, a nice bonus from a 6-5 first baseman.
After a slow start, Lee came around and finished with numbers very similar to his 2003. Forecasts of a 40 HR season after his release from Pro Player Stadium were off by a bit, but at age 29, it wouldn’t surprise us if he fulfilled those expectations in 2005. Lee is also a good bet for double-digit steals, a nice bonus from your first baseman.
Lee had his second solid season in a row in 2003, going .271/.379/.508 with pitcher-friendly Pro Player Stadium as his home park. In fact, Lee went a whopping .297/.388/.591 and hit 20 of his 31 home runs on the road. Now that he's playing in Wrigley Field -- where he had very good numbers last year, but has struggled over the last three -- we would expect his power numbers to improve, and 40 home runs isn't out of the question. That said, Lee might offer less value in 2004 because he probably won't come close to stealing 21 bags again -- 10 of his steals came in April under steal-crazy (and arm-mangling) manager Jeff Torborg, and only six came after the All-Star break.
Lee took more walks in 2002, but also struck out more, and neither seemed to affect his final totals much. Except for the steals of course, but Jeff Torborg has made it his mission to ensure every Marlin starter reaches double digits in the appendix of offensive categories. One of these years Lee is going to hit 30 homers with 100 RBI, but it'll probably have to wait until he's shipped out of town.
More Fantasy News
1BFree Agent  
March 11, 2013
The Yankees have asked Lee whether he would come out of retirement, the New York Times reports.
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1BFree Agent  
March 7, 2012
Lee hasn't officially planned to retire and is open to the right opportunity, Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports.
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1BFree Agent  
December 5, 2011
Lee might wait until both Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder agree to new deals before signing anywhere, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Lee has until Wednesday to decide whether to accept the Pirates' arbitration offer.
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Derrek Lee: Offered Salary Arbitration by Bucs
1BFree Agent  
November 24, 2011
The Pirates offered salary arbitration to Lee, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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1BPittsburgh Pirates  
September 21, 2011
Lee homered for the second straight day Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with two RBI against the Diamondbacks.
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