Looking to upgrade over Troy Glaus at first base, the Braves traded for Cubs veteran Derrick Lee on Wednesday to bring the three-time Gold Glover to Atlanta.
The Braves sent three minor-leaguers to the Cubs: right-handed pitchers Tyrelle Harris and Robinson Lopez and left-handed pitcher Jeffrey Lorick.
Glaus was out of the lineup Wednesday night, but Cox said that was because he was resting a sore knee. The Braves could disable Glaus to give him some rest for his knee, then bring him off the bench down the stretch.
The Braves have been looking for a middle-of-the-order bat through a waiver trade since losing Chipper Jones to a season-ending knee injury last week. They needed to complete a deal before Sept. 1 for a player to be eligible for the postseason roster.
Lee was expected to waive his right to veto the trade to Atlanta, something he exercised when the Cubs tried to trade him to the Angels last month ago. Lee told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during his years with the Cubs that he’d like to play for Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Lee has suffered from lower back pain and reportedly received an epidural shot on Monday and was not eligible to play again until Thursday. The Braves could decide to give him another day to rest and join the team when the Braves travel to Chicago for a weekend series against the Cubs.
Lee has hit .283 with nine home runs 30 RBIs and .492 slugging percentage in 47 games since June 16. He went 5-for-11 with four home runs in a three game series at St. Louis that ended Sunday. Braves top scout Jim Fregosi was reportedly at that series in St. Louis and watched Lee hit the four home runs.
Lee hit twice as many homers (four) last weekend in St. Louis as Glaus has hit in his past 46 games. The struggling Glaus has hit .174 with only two home runs and 15 RBIs in his past 46 games.
Lee is in the final year of a five-year $65 million contract. He is due $3.4 million for the rest of the season, which the Braves are expected to pay the majority of, if not all.
Lee is expected to hold a press conference following the Cubs game against the Padres on Wednesday afternoon.