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Cubs, Derrek Lee waiting till after season to discuss extension

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the Cubs and Derrek Lee have agreed to postpone contract extension talks till after the season.

"I'd like to (retire as a Cub), but if it doesn't happen, I understand that also," Lee said. "It's really not a big issue."

Lee and the Cubs have stayed on very good terms since the team acquired him following the 2003 season. He signed a five year extension that runs through this season for 65 million dollars, 13 million dollars annually.

Lee had a breakout 2005 season before going down with a broken wrist in 2006. It took him some time to fully recover from the surgery, but it appears he has returned to '05 form after posting a .306 average and 35 home runs.

Overall, in six seasons with the team, Lee has hit .302, averaged 31 home runs (minus injury-shortened season), and made the All-Star team twice.

The teams core talent is definitely getting older, so the Cubs would be smart to consider all left-handed power hitting options. Lee is a favorite, but if he is looking to make more than 13 million dollars than it may be best to move on. However, the Cubs have no prospects that could replace Lee, meaning a replacement would have to come from outside the organization.

Regardless, both sides are confident that if all goes well this season, a contract extension should be no problem.

"Am I worried about it? No," Lee said. "My only concern is winning baseball games. Contracts, they'll take care of themselves. My numbers are going to dictate what kind of contract I get next year. So I figure if I just worry about playing baseball and helping my team win, all that other stuff takes care of itself."