derrek lee

NL East Update: The one where the Braves upgrade

In a surprising move, the Atlanta Braves have acquired Derrek Lee from the Chicago Cubs.

I didn’t see this coming. Great pickup for the Braves, getting a veteran leader who brings years of post-season experience to a young club. Lee has had a down year in 2010, batting just .251 with 16 home runs and 56 RBI. Lee will inherit the first base position from Troy Glaus, who has been placed on the disabled list and will take some time off getting acquainted with third base when rehabbing in the minors. Atlanta upgraded from Chipper Jones to Lee as far as an intimidating presence in the lineup. Look for the former Cub to fit right in with his new team and finish the year with a strong second half.

Mets Blog thinks that flamethrower Bobby Parnell should be the teams closer.

Although I have faith in Hisanori Takahashi getting the job done, I would like to see Parnell out there in save situations. In last nights game, Parnell was regularly hitting 100 MPH on the gun, and hit 102 MPH at least twice. How can a guy with that kind of stuff not get an opportunity as a closer? The Mets already tried him out as a starter last season and he was a disaster, it looks like his true calling is the ninth inning. I just can’t understand why Jerry Manuel isn’t taking this time to see what kind of makeup Parnell has in the closers role.

Wes Helms will be with the Florida Marlins next season, agreeing to a 1-year extension worth $1 million.

Nice pickup by the Marlins, keeping their veteran presence with the team. On a team full of young players, Helms has virtually been the veteran leader in all four years with the team. His teammates respect him, and more importantly, the organization respects him, and we all know how hard it is for the Marlins to show any loyalty towards anyone. With a make or break season coming for Chris Coghlan in 2011, while making the transition to third base, Helms can take the former Rookie of the Year under his wing and lead him to a great bounce back year. Every team needs a player like Wes Helms on their roster.

The recently released Brad Hawpe has received some interest from the team that needs all the bench help they can get, the Philadelphia Phillies.

I am a little surprised by Hawpe’s release, but that’s the business of the game. Frankly, the Phillies don’t need this guy, and I don’t think Hawpe wants to be a guy coming off the bench. I’m not saying that he wouldn’t fit in with Philadelphia, but he would probably be a lot happier somewhere else. With Clint Hurdle now a coach with the Texas Rangers, that would seem like the best fit for Hawpe.

Wilson Ramos is now a Washington National, another piece to the puzzle is in place.

If it weren’t for Joe Mauer, Ramos would be the man in Minnesota. The guy can hit and throw guys out on the base paths, as well as playing a solid defense behind home plate. A few years from now the Nationals could be what the Tampa Bay Rays are now. With a little patience, smart drafting and trading, you can find yourself with a great crop of players primed to make a run for dominance.