The above picture is of the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" locomotive, one of the largest and most powerful locomotives ever built. The M's now have their own "Big Boy" in Dae Ho Lee.
I really like the signing. McGrath's take on it at TNT (http://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/john-mcgrath/arti...) is well worth the read. Summary: He's a good guy who has real talent. He's going to be fun to watch.
There is some question as to whether the Ms will give Montero a shot at the platoon spot in Spring Training and to start the season and put Lee in Tacoma to get acclimated. My guess is that Montero would have to set Arizona on fire, because I think Lee is going to come in and diddly-bop his way with the pitchers he sees until his worth is established.
We may in fact see him become the dominant member of a 1B platoon early on, instead of Lind, since his platoon split is reputedly fairly small (does IcebreakerX have any good data from Japanese sites? - b-ref doesn't have it). Does an .800+ OPS out of the 1B platoon sound good to anyone else?
And expecting his NPB numbers (OPS .858) to carry over might be a stretch, but Adam Lind has averaged an OPS of .845 over the past 3 years, so going with the hot hand against RH and hitting Lee against LH should give some decent results. I'd take an .820 without regret.
Seeing him rifle doubles off the wall and moon shot the 'Pen is going to put butts in seats as the word gets around. This looks like one of those cases where the "good night at the ballpark" bias of the M's FO might work to build a winner as well. If he's got himself in somewhat better shape than the video shows, his ability to last the season will be enhanced (although the NPB season is almost as long, the travel is much less of an issue). But he also sounds like a great interview and an endearing character - an XXXL Munenori Kawasaki?
Churchill at PI laments the loss of bench flexibility with either Lee or Montero being rostered. With the AAA club at Tacoma being staffed with some interesting talent, part of DiPoto's emphasis on depth, I just don't get this. Now if Lee AND Montero are complete busts, that's one thing. But Lee's track record is stronger than just about any NPB slugger since Hideki Matsui - do people really, truly, expect him to bust here?
Finally, in a division with Cole Hamels, Derek Holland, Martin Perez, Dallas Keuchel, C.J. Wilson, and Hector Santiago to start against us (the M's will likely see Hamels and Holland in 2 of their first 3 games), and Sipp, Diekman, Doolittle, Rzepcynski, Alvarez, et al, in the AL West bullpens, signing Lee looks like another coup for DiPoto, rather than a move to be lamented because of a loss of flexibility.