ESPN.com and Buster Olney are now reporting
that the Derrek Lee extension is signed, sealed and delivered. The Cubs have a press conference scheduled for tomorrow morning to announce it officially. He'll get a little more than Paul Konerko did this off-season, 5 years for $65 million and a full no-trade clause. His old deal will be voided($9 million plus this year) and the first year of his new deal will go into effect immediately, meaning he's signed through 2010. He deserves more than Paul Konerko, although I'm not fond in any way of the no-trade clause. His defense and strike zone judgement make me a little less hesitant about the five year deal as I expect him to age pretty well. Although by 2010, we'll probably be hoping that we didn't sign him to this deal, but it's the cost of signing big name players, you almost always have to overpay in some way. If he puts up numbers similar to 2005 over the next 3-4 seasons, whatever he ends up slipping to in the latter years of the contract will be the price needed to be paid to enjoy the more fruitful years.
Brian Dopirak may as well starting shopping for a new mitt as he'll have to find a new position if he plans to ever play for the Cubbies. If he ever puts up another decent season in the minors, I suppose he'll get himself traded promptly. No worries here, I don't think Dopirak will evolve into anything more than a decent DH, his defense so far has been deplorable in the minors.
Next up on Hendry's contract platter, getting Aramis to waive his option after this year and signing Carlos Zambrano to the extension that will keep him a Cubbie for the next ten years.