Chicago Cubs Talking to Los Angeles Angels About Derrek Lee Trade

Indeed the Cubs trade rumors are bouncing all over the place. The latest has the Cubs talking to the Los Angeles Angels about first baseman Derrek Lee.

Excellent baseball sources are telling us the Angels and the Cubs may be involved in trade talks that could send Derrek Lee to L.A. The Angels lost their starting first baseman, Kendry Morales, last weekend when he broke his leg in a celebration after he hit a walk-off grand slam. Lee was a late scratch from Wednesday’s lineup because of tightness in his right hamstring. Chicago Tribune.

Derrek Lee is in the final year of his contract, which pays him $13 million. You’ll also note that Lee has full no-trade protection, so any trade the Cubs negotiate will have to include Lee’s approval. Lee is a West Coast guy, though, so it’s possible that a move to Los Angeles would be welcome.

If the Cubs deal Lee, they’ll likely move Xavier Nady to first base on a relatively full-time basis. That is, until Nady himself lands on the trading block.

The Cubs do not have a great replacement waiting in the system (Micah Hoffpauir?), so a move of Lee would definitely be a signal that the Cubs consider themselves sellers at this point – not to mention the fact that Lee is considered the heart of the Chicago Cubs on the positional side.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

11 responses to “Chicago Cubs Talking to Los Angeles Angels About Derrek Lee Trade”

  1. D

    you are crazy!!!! Just cause the Cubs deal Lee does not mean they think they are done with this season right now Lee is not even really helping us offensively so trading him would not hurt anything and would allow Micah to be called back up. Maybe Lee and Gorzelanny for Brian Fuentes would not be a bad idea.

  2. nickpip

    Why don’t they try to turn Colvin into a first baseman? I agree trading does not mean they are giving up — it just means the cubs need relievers more than they need a 250 hitting first baseman.

    1. MM

      …and maybe they can somehow find a way to sneak Rami into the deal as well.

    2. bric

      Two reasons why they shouldn’t: He has good speed and will make a much more productive outfielder than firstbaseman in the long run. And changing his position might put too much on his mind which could affect his performance at the plate.
      If we need a short term solution without risking one of the few quality young talents on this team, it would be much easier and safer to bring Hoffpauer or Tracy back for the year.

  3. BS

    I think it would be a great move Lee isnt really doing anything this season and hopefully the cubs trade ramirez too and zambrano

  4. DaveB

    I love how both of the last 2 years its been the exact same story with Lee:
    He struggles in the first 2 months of the season, and everyone starts calling for him to be traded immediately, and then June rolls around and he starts straight up smashing the ball all over the park, and everyone shuts up.
    Im not saying that Derek for sure is going to bust out of the slump this month and put up the numbers he normally does, but I feel that history shows us that he should at least be given the chance to do so (like he has done his entire career up until now).
    How would we feel if we traded Lee to the Angels now, and then he turns around and bats .300 with 30+ HR and 100+ RBI (just like last season?) Its way too soon to give up on DLee and on ARam

    1. wax_eagle

      Right with you, I don’t see any reason why DLee won’t be productive for the remainder of the year.

      ARam’s K rate worries me a bit, I have a feeling he will not recover as strongly as we all hope he will. He might be more hurt than he is letting on or have a vision issue.

      Both of them should warm up as the summer does, but if the Cubs are out of it in a couple of weeks then asking DLee and maybe Lilly to waive in a few weeks would be in the best interest of everyone.

  5. Willis

    I love Lee but there is no reason not to listen to potential deals for him if they can bring solid young players in return. A rotation of Nady and Tracy at first wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world…probably more productive than what we have seen. Defensively it would hurt way more than offensively. For the optimists out there, and I will admit I was wrong if I indeed am in a couple months, but you got to think this season is lost. The Cardinals and Reds are just better teams and this team has not shown anything that would make you think they could rattle off 6 or 7 straight to try and jump back in the race. If you can get quality for Lee and he will play ball with the no trade clause, pull the trigger.

    1. Jeff

      I’m right there with you. I love the heck out of D.Lee and he’s been one of my favorites since he’s joined the Cubs. He seems to be the lead by example guy, he doesn’t make waves and he always produces. That said, he’s a free agent at the end of the year if I’m not mistaken, and with the logjam of unmovable contracts, the Cubs have to do something to start getting younger and if this team isn’t going to win this year or next, the window is going to close. So trading him for any type of top prospects would be the best move, because they aren’t going to be able to move the contracts necessary to bring in the extra offense they need this year. For example, I’ve always thought that Carl Crawford would be a great addition and the Cubs certainly have the prospects to go get him, but there are three huge contracts in the outfield right now and Tyler Colvin knocking on the door for his opportunity, and I don’t see the Cubs carrying a 10 million dollar bench player. Trading the chips that have value that you can move seems like the only way they are going to be able to move forward with any kind of additions, even if it means making the team worse in the short term.

  6. bric

    Another thing that’s probably rattling around in the back of these players’ brains (especially Lee and Lilly) is the dark prospect of not finding a job at all next year. With the economy in the dumps every team (including the Yankees and Red Sox) are watching their bottom line. Last year I wouldn’t have thought an issue, but there’re a few of veterans looking for a job right now and as long as this recession continues you can bet most teams are going to go younger and cheaper. The list of unemployed is bound to grow next year. Might make it easier for them to wave their NTCs in the next month if they have to.

  7. Jeff

    I agree bric, I still can’t believe that nobody has a spot for Jermaine Dye. The guy can still hit for some power, don’t know why nobody would take him.