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MLB Trade Rumors: Derrek Lee to Braves for Javier Vazquez??

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I was thinking recently of who the Braves will trade one of their starting pitchers to since they will be trading one of them this offseason, or so they say. It's obvious that Derek Lowe will be hard to deal due to his contract (although all the experts thought he was a good value last offseason), and the Braves would be crazy to trade either Jair Jurrgens or Tommy Hanson. So Javier Vazquez is the obvious choice. But to who?

I say they deal him to the Cubs for Derrek Lee. Both Lee and Vazquez are in the last years of their deals with Lee making $13 million in 2010, and Vazquez making $11.5 million in 2010. Pretty even trade salary-wise, and the deal fills a need for both teams.

The Cubs need a starting pitcher after losing Rich Harden to free agency. Vazquez would join Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster and Randy Wells in the rotation. With Lee gone, the Cubs could put hitting machine Jake Fox at first base on a full time basis. Fox is limited as to where he can play on the field as he is a poor defensive player, but he can hit and hit for power.

Here are Fox's 2009 stats:

Player AB R H HR RBI BB KO SB BA OBP SLG OPS
Fox, Jake 1B CHC 216 23 56 11 44 14 47 0 0.259 0.311 0.468 0.779



Fox's HR/FB% was 13.3% in 2009, and he had a LD/GB/FB slash line of 19%/34%/47%, which tells me he hits alot of fly balls. Fox hit 11 HRs in just 216 ABs in 2009, and I think he could hit 25+ HRs if given a full time job in 2010.

But the Cubs have to wonder if they will get the same production out of Lee in 2010 that they got from him in 2009. I think they get something in between his 2009 and 2008 seasons. And Jake Fox can probably give them that for alot less money.

From the Braves point of view they get the big bat they need for the middle of their lineup, and he also fills their need for a first baseman. Lee would probably hit in the middle of the Braves lineup between Chipper Jones and Brian McCann.