With opening day about a month a way, this week Cubbies Crib will feature a series of posts called “Deal or No Deal”. And in each post will look at three different players that could be entering their final year as a Chicago Cub, and those three players are Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly, and Aramis Ramirez.
Question: Should the Cubs re-sign Derrek Lee?
Pros: It should be well known around wrigleyville that Derrek Lee is basically the heart and soul of the Cubs. Ever since being traded to the Cubs after the 2003 season, Lee has been fixture in the middle of the Cubs lineup. And last year he had one of his best years in his career by hitting .306 with 36 home runs and 111 RBI’s. Along with the great offense, Lee also is one of the best defensive 1B in the league.
Cons: But there is concern over whether or not Lee will be able to repeat the numbers that he had last year. Age is also a factor as Lee will be 35, at seasons end, and it is likely that his production will go down over the next couple of seasons.
Answer: There is mutual interest between the Cubs and Lee, so it is likely that the two sides will get a deal done. But, the two sides will not talk about a contract till after the 2010 season. I can see the Cubs extending Lee for 2 years with a base salary of $10MM per year. It should also be noted that Lee said he wants to retire a Cub.