Lee gets arbitration offer before deadline
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The Pirates offered salary arbitration Wednesday to first baseman Derrek Lee, but did not offer it to outfielder Ryan Ludwick or catcher Chris Snyder.
If Lee declines arbitration and signs with another team, the Pirates will receive a draft pick between the first and second rounds of the draft.
They already received one selection when Ryan Doumit signed with the Minnesota Twins.
Lee was the obvious candidate for an arbitration offer. He hit .337 with seven home runs after joining the Pirates at the trade deadline. He missed time when he took a pitch off his left hand, but performed well when healthy. He made $7.25 million last season and, if he accepts arbitration, his salary likely will be slightly higher. The Pirates, who need a starting first baseman, would like Lee to return but will take the draft pick if he does not. They could use Garrett Jones at first, bring up Matt Hague, make a trade or pursue one in free agency.
Ludwick, 33, also joined the Pirates at the trade deadline. He hit .232 with two home runs and a .341 on-base percentage. He made $6,775,000 in 2011. Snyder, 30, missed most of the season because of back surgery, and the Pirates had declined his $6.75 million option.
The signing of free-agent catcher Rob Barajas made an offer to Snyder less likely, and the outfield of Alex Presley, Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata reduced the chance that Ludwick would receive an offer.
The new collective bargaining agreement revised the protocol for compensatory picks, starting next offseason. Under the new terms, teams will not receive such picks after they offer arbitration to a free agent who signs with another team unless they have offered him a guaranteed one-year deal at the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players that season. This year, that would require an offer of about $12 million.
The Pirates announced the signing of outfielder Brandon Boggs, right-hander Kyle Cofield, right-hander Jose Diaz and first baseman. They also made official the signing of catcher/outfielder Jake Fox and right-hander Shairon Martis. Boggs, Fox and Martis received non-roster invitations to spring training.
Boggs, 28, hit .158 in 16 games for Milwaukee in 2011. At the Brewers' Class AAA club in Nashville last season, he hit .241 with nine homers. The switch-hitter has played parts of four seasons with the Brewers and Texas and has a .209 career average.
Cofield, 24, had a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings of relief split between Class AA and Class AAA in the Chicago White Sox organization in 2011. He struck out 25. Diaz, 27, had 23 saves in 442/3 innings split between Baltimore's Class AA and AAA teams. He struck out 48 batters.
Welch, a 23-year-old Australian, hit .271 with 16 homers at the high Class-A level of the New York Mets organization.
He had a .998 fielding percentage in 124 games and made the Florida State League All-Star team.
• Catcher Brian Jeroloman, claimed off waivers Friday and designated for assignment Monday, was claimed by Toronto, his original team, Wednesday.
• Catcher Eric Fryer cleared waivers and was sent outright to Indianapolis.
First Published November 24, 2011 12:00 am