Cubs and D-Lee Close

Cubs fans are breathing a sigh of relief as the Cubs and Derrek Lee are closing in on a contract extension in the range of five years and $65MM.  Lee for Hee Seop Choi and Mike Nannini is one of the best trades in the team’s history.

Lee is a player that I think you can safely call a Baseball Prospectus miss.  In 2002, they remarked, "He’s not likely to take a big step forward and really be worth five or six wins. The Marlins should get what they can from him this season, then deal him to make room for Adrian Gonzalez."

Lee was worth 12.3 wins in 2005.  He took the step forward.  While he’s probably not going to earn $65MM through 2011, there simply aren’t any comparable players out there who can make this kind of difference right now.   

A Lee contract extension coupled with Nick Johnson‘s signing really kills the 2007 first base free agent crop.  The best option would probably be Sean Casey.

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