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Lee to Sign Tomorrow
by Derek Smart
According to ESPN, Derrek Lee will be signing a five-year, $65M deal with a complete no-trade clause that will be announced at a press conference tomorrow. The terms are to be effective this season, replacing the last year of the deal he had signed during the Spring leading up to his first season as a Cub.
Considering what the market looks like at the moment, this contract seems plenty reasonable to me, and I have to believe that he could have made a killing on the open market, especially since both the Yankees and Red Sox could have been expected to make big plays for The Savior.
Sure, he might not be worth the money at the end of the deal, but he's a much better bet to be close than his nearest free-agent comp this offseason, Paul Konerko. Lee is extremely durable, and is a superior athlete, which gives us reason to believe that he'll age pretty well. As a rule, I'm not fond of five-year deals for anyone, but if you're going to give out such things, Lee's one of the better bets you'll find.
Congratulations to both the Cubs and Derrek. I look forward to seeing terror in the eyes of National League pitchers through 2010.