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The best first baseman in the league is back with the Cubs. Derrek Lee hit .335 with 46 homers and 107 RBIs last season and also won a Gold Glove. Some would argue that Pujols is the better player and while I think he is a better hitter he doesn't run or play defense like Lee.

Lee is making $8 million in the final season of a three-year, $22.5 million deal. His new contract calls for a $13 million annual salary from 2006-10 and contains a no-trade clause. Lee is crushing again batting .375 with three homers and six RBIs through the first six games. The addition of Jones and Pierre along with signing Lee to a long term deal I like what the Cubs are doing. Now if they can just get Prior and Wood back for any length of time.

Mp3 link: The Brothers DeFino - "WGN Radio Cubs Theme"

4 interested person(s)

JT said... @ 4/11/2006 03:09:00 PM

I hate to say it, but Prior and Wood are not the answer, and most likely never will be. Those early years of overpitching with questionable mechanics and bad habits, coupled with Dusty's tendency to grind young arms into the goddamn ground, will ultimately be too much to bear.

We have built a good nucleus of non-SPs: our bullpen is as good as it's looked for maybe 3 years, our offense/defense is good enough and powerful enough, but we still base any kind of future success on having Wood and Prior in the rotation. That attitude needs to change, especially the worrying recent trend of dealing SP pitching prospects in those off-season trades [we waved so long to Mitre, Nolasco, and a couple of other potential SPs], and word is that it might happen again this season.

Jim Hendry has a boner for Reds OF Austin Kearns [who just hit a grand slam against us this afternoon], and has had one for a couple of years now. Everyone knows the Reds want starting pitching, so I wouldn't be surprised if some kind of move is made by the deadline.

If only we weren't relying on two oft-injured SPs for our World Series chance, we might actually have a chance!

Kevin said... @ 4/11/2006 07:55:00 PM

The Derrek Lee news is fantastic. I just love reminding myself who the Cubbies traded to get him: Hee Seop Choi. Holy crap. Trade of the decade.

JT has a good point: The Wood-Prior combo is at a crossroads. It's either got to happen now or never. The injuries are wearing at my patience. Maybe the much-rumored Prior-for-Tejada deal would have been the best move. Kinda like the way the Cubbies parted ways with C. Patterson. I'm fearful that Wood-Prior will never be fully healthy.

That said, I love what the infield looks like: Ramirez, Ronny Cedeno, Todd Walker (even sometimes Neifi Perez) and D. Lee. Pierre is solid, Jacque Jones will come around and Matt Murton could be very good. That starting rotation needs to get in order, as JT said.

JT said... @ 4/11/2006 11:33:00 PM

trade of the decade is right!! Hee Seop Choi, god, imagine where we'd be if he was mashing in cubbie blue to this day.... yikes.

I fear that we'll really get screwed on trading those two now, knowing what we and the rest of the league know. We'll never get anything back that's close to what we think they're worth, but I do agree. The crossroads is upon us, and it's time to choose.

K. said... @ 4/12/2006 07:48:00 AM

I agree that tieing World Series hopes on the arms of Prior and Wood is probably not the best idea. I liked what I saw out of Marshall the other night. Rusch as been servicable but hardly dominate and Maddux is ageless. Zambrano can be electric if he doesnt lose him mind.

Not sure how Kearns fits in. The offense seems solid. I think the bullpen is great with Howry and Eyre. Not crazy about Dempster closing but he has rung up like 20 straight so little worries there.

I think Jones will turn it around and Murton and Cedeno are looking like great young talents. Once Ramirez gets out of his slump the Cubs will be wraking.

I am not crazy about Tejada.
Hopefully the Marlins will have another fire sale in a couople years so the Cubs can pick up Cabera and maybe Willis (who started with the Cubs).

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