There has been a lot of trade talk surrounding the Cubs, especially gold glove first baseman Derrek Lee. Derrek Lee's power numbers have decrease quite a bit over the past 2 seasons but still put up good solid above average numbers for a first baseman. He also will give you great defense at first base. But in order for Lee to get traded a lot of things have to happen, here is just some of them-
1. Lee would have to waive his no-trade clause in his contract. This is not a give in and it is rumored that Lee would only accept a trade to a westcoast team. But even then it is not a give in if you find a match on the westcoast.
2.The Cubs would need a replacement ready to go at 1st base. The Cubs could go in house with a first baseman but they could lose average, defense, and steady productivity from the 1st base position. They could get a first baseman in return in a trade for Lee but that would not make sense. The logical idea would have the Cubs go with Micah Hoffpauir or Mark Derosa at first base. If they move Derosa to 1st they could go after speedy 2nd baseman Brian Roberts, or let Font play the entire season at 2b, or sign a 2nd baseman like Orlando Hudson or Mark Grudzielanek. So there is options there. The Cubs could also go after a free agent 1st baseman. Some of the more expensive guys are like Jason Giambi, Carlos Delgado, and Mark Teixeira, which I am all for Teixeira but I do not see that happening, way too pricey. Some of the more affordable guys are like Sean Casey, Kevin Millar, Tony Clark, and Nomar Garciaparra will give you less productivity and OK defense but could be serviceable. I like Nomar out of this group because if he gets hurt you have Hoffpauir as a back up and you could even platoon them at first. Either way the Cubs have many options to choose from.
3. The Cubs will have to get good value for him in return. MLBTR says the Giant really like Lee but Chicago will not give him up unless a guy like Sanchez or Cain is in the deal. I am not a fan of Sanchez but throw Cain in a deal for Lee it would hard to say no to. Cain is a young hard throwing righty who is only 24 years old and only going to get better. Low ERA and high strike outs. My kind of guy. Other players that the Cubs would consider trading Lee for are Jake Peavy( although the Padres do not have a spot for Lee), Chad Billingsly( the Dodgers already have a good first baseman in Loney), Justin Duchscherer, Jared Weaver/Ervin Santana and Reggie Willits/Chone Figgins, or Ichiro Suzuki( who is rumored to be made available this off season). Erik Bedard is an option too.
A very interesting situation to watch is the Ichiro situation. The Cubs along with may teams would have interest in the speedy outfielder but unlike the a lot of teams the Cubs need him the most. A guy who can play all three outfield spots, killer defense, great arm, lead-off man, that steals a lot of bases. I think the Cubs have the goods to land them him too. If they offer a package that included Lee, Pie, Veal, Marshall etc should get some talks rolling. Keep an eye on this.
4. The Cubs would have to be sure that they can get a trade done for Lee before they ask him to waive his no trade clause. The chemistry of a team is a fragile thing and you do not want to upset that especially since Lee is the captain of this team, that is the last thing you need!
So as you can see the Cubs would have to go through a lot of hoops to trade Lee which makes me think he will start the year as a Chicago Cub. But there is still the possibility he is traded if the Cubs conquer these 4 steps!