As the trade deadline approaches, one of the players everyone thought might be moved to a contender was first baseman Derrick Lee, whose contract is up after the season.
Well, apparently D Lee doesn't want to go anywhere, invoking his no trade clause or his 5 and 10 rights. (I think both would apply.) He's informed the club that he wants to stay right where he is for the remainder of the season, and there is not much they can do about it. He has apparently blocked a trade to the Angels, who are about 7 1/2 games out of first right now in the AL West.
I would have thought Lee would welcome a trade to the West Coast, and the opportunity to play for something. Maybe Anaheim isn't the best destination for that, since they may not be able to run down the Rangers, but there are teams that could use him, I think.
Ted Lilly is the most likely to be traded of the guys on the Cubs with bigger contracts. I've heard that he is likely headed to the Twins. He should be able to shore up the back end of their rotation there. I thought he would be a good fit for the White Sox as a fifth starter for the rest of the way, but others (notably Jonathan Hood on ESPN 1000) have suggested that he doesn't really fit with that team, as a fly ball pitcher. Hopefully the Cubs will get something for him.
I've also heard that Ryan Theriot is likely to be traded, perhaps to the Rockies or the Tigers (though the Tigers' acquisition of Jhonny Peralta from the Indians likely puts them out of the hunt for Theriot, if there is a hunt). This deal does not make as much sense to me. Theriot doesn't make THAT much money, and the Cubs don't have a hot prospect needing to play NOW. Maybe they'll get that prospect for Theriot. If they don't, I see no reason to deal him.
We're in the home stretch before the deadline. Keeping my fingers crossed that they can find a taker for Fukudome...