With Dunn Gone, Can Lee Fill Void?

The Washington Nationals have a BIG hole to fill in their batting order and at first base, and by big, I mean literally. It’s a hole the size of a 6 foot 6 inch 285-pound lineman first baseman named Adam Dunn.

Dunn signed with the Chicago White Sox for four-years and $56 million on December 2nd, leaving the Nationals without one of their more consistent run producers and home run threats, not to mention they are now left without a first baseman. The team could elect to fix this problem internally in the organization, but they would be best suited going to free agency.

The Nationals have been connected to talks involving Derrek Lee, and I think he would be a good pickup for this team. Lee had a bit of a down year last season in split time with Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves. Combined between the two teams he hit only .260 with 19 home runs and 80 RBIs. Over the course of his career, however, Lee is a consistent .280 hitter, has won three gold gloves, and is a two-time All-Star.

In 2009 with the Cubs, Lee hit .306 with 35 big flies and 111 batted in. Signing Lee would give the offense, as well as the defense some stability. It’s no secret that, while Dunn is a prolific run producer and home run hitter, the guy really IS about as mobile as the position he should play, an offensive lineman. He is a hitter, bottom line.

A gold glove first baseman, Lee would save many errant throws across the diamond, especially from young SS Ian Desmond. Also, Lee would be a nice compliment to fellow corner-infielder Ryan Zimmerman, who, with the departure of Dunn, could use some protection in an already weak lineup.