Chicago Cubs: The lopsided Derrek Lee trade revisited 15 years later

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: Could D-Lee have been even better for the Cubs?

After 2004-2005, there were expectations that Lee would continue to do what he did his first two years with the Chicago Cubs. I mean, he’d just turned 30 years old. Sadly 2006 happened. In April of that dreadful 96-loss season, Lee collided with Rafael Furcal and broke his wrist. He finished that year, playing just 50 games. A tough blow for a guy really hitting his prime.

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Then he came back in 2007 and slashed .317/.400/.513 with 22 home runs and 43 doubles in 150 games. This marked his second season voted to the All-Star Game and his third career Gold Glove Award.

The average and on-base numbers are very good, but the wrist took a toll on his home run power. Twenty-two homers certainly is not bad but a drop no less after averaging mid-30s from 2003 to 2005 . He then hit 20 home runs in a career-high 698 at-bats in 2008 and slugged .462, which was the lowest mark he had put up in years. It looked like the power was never going to fully return.

Then, 2009 happened – arguably his most productive season outside of 2005. He hit 35 home runs and slashed .306/.393/.579 with a career-high 111 RBI. His seven-RBI night against the Brewers at Wrigley was one of the highlights of that season. Lee was not an All-Star that year, probably because he did a lot of his damage in the second half (.336/.436/.656). Sadly like 2005, the 2009 campaign was forgettable and the beginning of the end of the Hendry era.

Next. End of an Era. dark