Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that Derrek Lee underwent surgery Friday to repair a torn thumb ligament that limited him for the entire season.
Lee initially suffered the injury on Opening Day, yet played 148 games and was at his best following a mid-August trade to the Braves, hitting .287 with a .384 on-base percentage and .465 slugging percentage in 39 games down the stretch as Atlanta reached the playoffs for the first time since 2005.
Prior to the trade Lee hit just .251/.336/.416 for the Cubs and even with the strong stretch for the Braves he finished with an OPS below .800 for the first time since 1999. He’s expected to be fully recovered from the surgery by spring training, but as a 35-year-old coming off a career-worst season Lee may have to settle for a one-year contract as a free agent.
He’s hitting the open market after playing out a five-year, $65 million deal signed in April of 2006.
Injuries have wrecked Eric Chavez’s career and after paying him $62.5 million to hit just .249/.322/.434 while missing more than half of the team’s games over the past six seasons the A’s declined his $12 million option for 2011.
Chavez will get a $3.5 million buyout instead and may be considering retirement despite being just 32 years old.
It’s easy to forget because he hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2006–and the A’s have struggled since then as well–but Chavez was once among the best all-around players in the league.
Selected by the A’s with the 10th overall pick in the 1996 draft he hit .280/.357/.513 with an average of 30 homers through his first five full seasons and won six Gold Glove awards at third base before age 30.
Cubs prospect Brett Jackson headed to the Arizona Fall League last week after being limited by a right ankle injury while playing for Team USA in the Pan American Games qualifying tournament, but now the 2009 first-round pick has been hospitalized with a bacterial infection in the same leg.
He appeared in just four games for the Mesa Solar Sox before being shut down with what Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports is “cellulitis with an abscess in his shin, which is similar to a staph infection.” He’s expected to be released from the hospital today, but won’t return to the AFL.
Jackson, who played in the Futures Games at Angels Stadium during the All-Star break, hit .297 with a .395 on-base percentage and .493 slugging percentage in 128 games split between high Single-A and Double-A this season, smacking 58 extra-base hits, stealing 30 bases, and drawing 73 walks at age 21. He’s among the top center field prospects in baseball.