Man, talk about a way to brighten up my day. To a certain extent I’ve been dreading what would happen insofar as Derrek Lee’s contract status, especially after last year’s implosion. But Lee made his feelings known in today’s Chicago Tribune – he isn’t going to insist on trying the free agent market and seeing what top dollar is. Rather, he’d like to stay right where he is in the Friendly Confines and will possibly forego a little salary to stay in Chicago.

Said Lee: “I think my future is here. I like it here. I want to win here. I see myself being here…if it’s a deal I feel is fair for me, I would sign it. It’s still a business. I always look at it as if there is a deal that makes me happy now, why not sign it? I don’t think $2-3 million a year more is going to change my life.”

This is about as close as a major professional athlete can come to telling you he wants to sign now; hopefully Lee’s statements will galvanize the Cubs’ brass into action and result in an early contract signing. Even if Lee doesn’t put up last year’s numbers he’s a vacuum cleaner at first base – he personally can cut a team’s infield errors in a drastic way. And who knows, he might even better last years numbers!

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