Derrek Lee hasn't heard anything about the Angels

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derrek lee headshot cubs.jpgOn Thursday, Fred Mitchell and David Kaplan of the Chicago Tribune cited “excellent baseball sources” who told them that the Cubs may be involved in trade talks that would send Derrek Lee to the Angels. On Friday, Lee told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he hasn’t heard anything about it.

“Who are the ‘excellent sources?'” Lee asked. “I’ve heard nothing on it.
I’ve got nothing for you.”

Lee, 34, is in the final year of a five-year, $65 million contract, so it would make some sense for the Cubs to shop him if they are still out of the race in July. They’d probably have to kick in some of his remaining $13 million salary in order to do so, especially if he continues to hit poorly. Keep in mind that his contract includes a no-trade clause, so the Cubs would have to get Lee’s approval on any potential deal.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.