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11.25.2003

Hee's On First?

Or, if you prefer, No Choi in Mudville.

Ah, the pleasures of rank amateurism.

The Giants' first base situation grows more intriguing. The Cubs just traded for Derrek Lee, giving up Hee Seop Choi and a PTBNL in what seems like a good trade for both sides. (And, according to MLB.com: "In a strange coincidence, the scout who signed Choi was former Cubs Pacific Rim coordinator Leon Lee, who is Derrek Lee's father.")

Choi gets another year to mature in AAA or on the bench then takes over at 1B for the Flahs when Conine (or as Al Leiter called him during the playoffs, "Niner") leaves at the end of 2004. (He has a $4.75M team option for 2005.) The Cubs who have plenty of dough have a young guy in his prime who could easily hit 40 ring-a-dings next year. No doubt they'll try to sign him long-term.

If Curt Schilling agrees to the D-Backs/Red Sox trade, there's a chance the D-Backs will turn right around and trade Casey Fossum and/or others to the Brewers for Richie Sexson.

That means no Lee, no Sexson and, unless the Marlins have another trade up their sleeveless jerseys, no Choi for the Giants. Free agents remaining: Speizio, Snow, T. Lee, Palmeiro, Karros, Cordero, Galarraga. Scanning the list of other first basemen, let me throw out a few names that haven't been mentioned in trade rumors but who might be on Sabean's radar: Phil Nevin (if the Pads would eat some of his contract)...Kevin Millar...Lyle Overbay (especially if Az. trades for Sexson; he had a .365 OBP as a rookie, but needs to work on that .400 SLG)...Jayson Phillips of the Mets, who quietly had a solid year.

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