Obviously it’s not time for the Cubs to go into sell mode, but as a .500 team buried in the N.L. Central, it isn’t shocking that the sell-type rumors are starting to swirl.

Could Derrek Lee be the hitter the Giants need? Sabean at least ought to see whether Chicago Cubs GM Jim Hendry would consider approaching Lee about waiving his no-trade clause, as the Cubs have first base options with Micah Hoffpauir and Jake Fox. Los Angeles Times.

To be certain, a Hoffpauir/Fox platoon would not completely replace Derrek Lee’s production at first. Offensively, it would be close, but defensively, it would be a dramatic step back.

To the extent a big time bat became available at a position where the Cubs could actually add a full-time bat (second base? center field if Fukudome continues the expected decline?), moving money would be the only way to do it. Lee, as noted, has a no-trade clause, and would probably only waive it in limited circumstances. Though, Lee is a West Coast native…

The final consideration here is the declining Lee, himself. He’s been impressively hot the last month and a half, but before that – and for protracted stretches last year – he was absolutely brutal at the plate. Lee turns 34 this year, and has seen his OPS decline in each of his last four full seasons.

Lee has one more year left on his deal, and will make $13 million next year.

  • Butcher

    Defense at 1B is probably the least important position on the field to have a defensive whiz. It’s why Big Papi plays there when he isn’t DHing. It’s why Jim Thome plays there when he isn’t DHing. It’s why they move ballplayers who can still rake, but have gotten too fat to play anywhere else to 1B.

  • KB

    1. Derrek Lee is my favorite Cub.
    2. I would trade him in a minute.

    As the above reply mentioned, a first baseman’s value is almost entirely based on his bat, and Lee is not a primo offensive force anymore. (and even his once-vaunted defense has declined to point that now he’s merely average, or slightly above average, with the glove).

    Also, isn’t he making $13 Mil next year, not ten? That’s an absurd amount to pay for a league-average 1st sacker.

    Hendry needs to improve this team, and as much as I love Lee, if there’s actually a taker out there, I think a trade would benefit the Cubs. Had this occurred in the off-season, Matt Cain would have been a possibility in return, but now that’d be impossible.

    • Ace

      I swore I edited it to say $13. That’s weird.

      I’m with you, KB, but most don’t agree with us. Derrek Lee has a mythical, 2005-esque hold over some folks, it seems.

  • Pingback: Not Qualified To Comment » Qualified Links()