Chicago Cubs News

Derrek Lee To The Braves


A little over two weeks ago, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Angels had a deal in place that would have sent Derrek Lee to the Angels. However, Derrek Lee invoked his 10-5 rights to block the trade to the Angels, who at the time were 8 games out of first place. No less than two weeks later, Derrek Lee found himself in the same position, only this time it was to the first place Atlanta Braves. And, this time Derrek Lee decided to approve the trade. The Chicago Cubs announced after their loss today that they have traded the fan favorite to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for 3 pitching prospects. The Cubs picked up half of Lee’s remaining salary this year, in order for them to be able to acquire those three prospects.

Since signing with the Chicago Cubs after the 2003 season, Lee instantly became a fan favorite among Cubs fans. Not to mention he really became the Cubs leader during his tenure with the team. His gold glove defense and solid offensive production help lead the Cubs to 4 winning seasons while he was with the Cubs, but only two playoff appearances.

"“It just felt right,” Lee said. “The main thing is we have six weeks left and Atlanta is in first place, and they’re playing great baseball.“I understand what [Cubs general manager Jim Hendry] is trying to do over here.”“I had a great time here,” Lee said. “I grew as a player, grew as a person, but I didn’t achieve the ultimate goal [of winning the World Series], so that part is disappointing. The rest of my experience was nothing but positive.” ESPN CHICAGO"

Here is what General Manager Jim Hendry had to say about the trade and Derrek Lee.

"“He’s had a tremendous career here, except for the year [2006] with his wrist injury,” Hendry said about Lee. “He’s performed like an All-Star player, and an All-Star teammate, and an All-Star to deal with from the front-office side.“It’s unfortunate we got ourselves in the spot we’re in now. The overall situation we’re in makes us all somewhere between miserable and sad every day.” ESPN CHICAGO"

The Chicago Cubs actually got a really good return for Derrek Lee, better than what many thought the Cubs would get for him. It all starts with 19 year Robinson Lopez, who was already the 16th ranked prospect in the Braves organization. He posted a 1.29 ERA in rookie ball last year, and has a 4.37 ERA this year in Class A while averaging 6.8K/9 and 4.2BB/9.

The Chicago Cubs also received pitchers Tyrelle Harris, and Jefferey Lorick in the deal. Harris who was in Class AA, had a combined ERA of 2.90 and 10.9K/9 in three different Levels in the Braves organization this year. Lorick has yet to reach double A, and has a 2.24 ERA in Class A for the Braves.

The Cubs have called up first baseman Micah Hoffpauir to take the vacant roster spot by the Derrek Lee trade. Hoffpauir will presumably be the starting first baseman for the remainder of the season.