NEW YORK -- Orioles first baseman Derrek Lee has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Orioles say they have sent Lee to Pittsburgh for minor-league first baseman Aaron Baker.
Lee can give the surprising Pirates a smooth-fielding first baseman with a capable right-handed bat, two things Pittsburgh could use as it tries to stay close in a crowded NL Central race.
After a slow start in Baltimore, Lee has come on of late. He is batting .246 with 12 homers and 41 RBIs this season.
Following a 17-3 loss to the New York Yankees, several Orioles teammates came over to Lee at his locker to ask about the trade and say goodbye with a hug or handshake.
Baltimore says Baker will be assigned to Class A Frederick.