The Cubs should have no problem trading Derrek Lee, despite his full no-trade clause.
He’s a pro’s pro with a Gold Glove and a legitimate bat. And that’s worth trading for if you’re a contender and in need of a first baseman, like say, Anaheim is.
But that’s not the only reason Anaheim makes sense. So often we see aging players return home to ride off into the sunset, Lee is a native Californian, and the Halos are contenders, nonetheless.
More favorably, Lee’s in the final year of his 5-year contract that pays him $13M annually. He’s also nearing the end of his career, meaning any takers, not just the Angels, wouldn’t have to commit to Lee for more than two-years beyond the trade, if that.
Whether or not the Cubs should trade Lee is another question. Chicago is still in the division hunt…barely…but still within striking distance at 6.5-games out. And while Derrek has struggled lately at the plate, he’s still the No. 3 hitter on this team.
Trade the clubhouse leader, however, and you’re signaling the end of 2010. No division championship, no Wild Card, and no rebounding from a poor 2009 season, either.
Derrek Lee is a face of the Cubs franchise. He means more to this team than most fans think…as a leader, a team spokesman, and a stand-up guy all around. D-Lee isn’t the type of player you replace easily, on or off the field.
He’s earned the right to invoke his no-trade clause if need be. But if Lee wants off this sinking ship on the North Side, Jim Hendry should have no problem finding Lee a new home, whether it’s in Anaheim or elsewhere.
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