Apr 23, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of a baseball on home plate before the baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field. Today marks the 100th year anniversary of the stadium
Derrek Lee – 2004 to 2010
Derrek Lee’s time with the Chicago Cubs was phenomenal. Lee was traded to the Cubs from the Florida Marlins for then-starting first baseman Hee-Seop Choi and a minor league player.
To say the Cubs stole Lee away from the Marlins would be an understatement. While Choi was with the Marlins for only 95 games before being traded to the Dodgers, he would have a stat line that included a .270 batting average, 15 home runs and 40 runs batted in. In that same year, Lee’s line with the Cubs read as follows: a .278 average to go along with 32 home runs and 98 runs batted in.
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Lee’s best season with the Cubs would be the following season. Lee was an MVP candidate all year long and even flirted with the coveted Triple Crown for a good amount of the season. While finishing third in the MVP race, Lee was able to secure his second career Gold Glove award and first Silver Slugger award.
While with the Cubs, Lee was considered a top-three defensive first baseman and one of the top offensive threats at his respective position. Unfortunately in 2006, Lee would miss much of the season after a collision at first base while trying to catch a relay throw and injuring his wrist. After that injury, Lee’s power wasn’t quite the same for a couple of seasons. Regardless of the injury, he was still able to put up seasons of 20 and 22 home runs before rebounding by hitting 35 bombs in 2009.
Lee was eventually traded to the Atlanta Braves in 2010. The Cubs started to gut the roster and began their rebuilding with prospects – a process that continues to this day.
In terms of Cubs’ first basemen, Lee ranks up as one of the best in franchise history.
Cubs career stats: .298 batting average, 179 home runs, 574 runs batted in