BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Orioles and free agent first baseman Derrek Lee have reached an oral agreement on a one-year contract pending a physical.
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail disclosed the deal Friday. He has been looking for a power-hitting first baseman since Ty Wigginton left as a free agent to sign with Colorado in mid-December.
The 35-year-old Lee split time with the Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves last season, totaling 19 homers and 80 RBIs in 148 games.
Lee has 312 career home runs, highlighted by the 46 he hit in 2005. He brings much-needed punch to the Orioles, who were led in home runs last year by Luke Scott (27).
Lee has never played in the American League.
He broke into the majors in 1997 with San Diego and spent one season with the Padres before beginning a six-year run with the Florida Marlins. He then went to the Cubs in 2004 and played there until being traded to the Braves in August.