Angels talking trade with Cubs for Lee?

The Angels may have targeted their replacement for first baseman Kendry Morales, who broke his leg last weekend while celebrating a walk off home run.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Halos may be in trade talks with the Cubs involving Derrek Lee.

Excellent baseball sources are telling us the Angels and the Cubs may be involved in trade talks that could send Derrek Lee to L.A. The Angels lost their starting first baseman, Kendry Morales, last weekend when he broke his leg in a celebration after he hit a walk-off grand slam. Lee was a late scratch from Wednesday’s lineup because of tightness in his right hamstring.

If the report is true, it’ll be interesting to see if the Angels pick up most of Lee’s current contract. He’s owed roughly $9 million over the remainder of the season and then becomes a free agent this winter. Considering he’s hitting just .232 this season and has never faced American League pitching on a consistent basis, L.A. may not be willing to fork over that much money, along with whatever compensation Chicago asks for.

That said, they have to do something. The defending AL West champs are currently one game under .500 and resting in third place in the division. They’re only 2.5 games behind the first-place Rangers, but they can’t continue to lose ground. Lee isn’t hitting now, but the last time he finished with an average less than .270 was his third year in the league when he hit .206 with the Marlins. He’s a career .280-hitter, so history shows that his numbers should rise at some point.

For the Cubs, moving Lee would force them to address the dark cloud currently hovering over the 3-4 spots in the lineup. Of course, the bigger picture is that a trade could help them cut salary and move into rebuilding mode. They’re nothing but a .500 club overpaying for way too many players and it may be time for them to start purging their roster.


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