Cubs agree to three-year deal with Derrek Lee
Lee, acquired in a November trade from the world champion Florida Marlins, agreed to a three-year, $22.5 million deal Saturday.
The Gold Glove first baseman could have been a free agent after this season and originally signed a one-year, $6.9 million deal last month.
"You never know how it is going to work out. Obviously you have the opportunity to maybe go out on the market and make a little more, but you know like I say, `It's about the money, but it's not all about the money," Lee said.
"The situation, I just felt it was right for me. An opportunity to be good for a while ... For me to turn this down I think I would have a little bit crazy."
Under his new deal, he gets base salaries of $5.5 million this season, $7 million in 2005 and $8 million in 2006. He also receives a $2 million signing bonus spread evenly over the three years.
Even though he batted just .188 in the National League Championship Series, Lee delivered two big hits to help keep the Cubs out of the World Series last season.
Chicago was five outs from the World Series when Florida rallied in Game 6 of the NL championship series in October.
Lee's two-run double in the eighth tied the game, and the Marlins went on to score eight runs and beat the Cubs 8-3.
The next night, Lee's RBIs single gave Florida the lead for good as the Marlins won 9-5 to advance to the World Series where they beat the Yankees in six games.
"I know myself personally I'll be disappointed if we're not in the World Series. That is what we are shooting for," Lee said.
Lee's father, Leon Lee, was the Cubs' Pacific Rim scout from 1998-2002 and signed Hee Seop Choi, who was traded to Florida for Lee.
"We look at first base as a spot we don't have to worry about for a long time," Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said.
"We think Derrek's better days are ahead of him. He had a tremendous year last year. I just wish he had taken the last couple of weeks off."
The 28-year-old Lee broke in with the Marlins in 1998. He is a career .264 hitter with 130 homers and 421 RBIss. Last year, he batted .271 with 31 homers, 92 RBIss and 21 stolen bases, while winning his first Gold Glove.
Lee's contract is the second multiyear deal announced by the Cubs in two days. They agreed to a three-year, $32.5 million deal with Kerry Wood on Friday.
This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index
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