Update: The Braves DO have a keen interest in D-Lee

Update: I have been given reason to believe the Braves are indeed interested in Derrek Lee and that such a deal could in fact happen.

Another day, another rumored trade. Earlier this week word circulated that the Braves wanted Aramis Ramirez, who’s a third baseman for the Cubs. That was shot down because Ramirez is due to make $14.6 million next season, essentially the same as Chipper Jones, who plans to be back at third base in 2011. (Read Mark Bowman’s nuanced post on MLB.com for the reasons why this rumor never had a prayer of becoming reality.)

But now we move across the Cubbies’ infield. Derrek Lee is the first baseman. He used to be really good. He’s not as good now, but he’s still OK. He also has a bad back.He’s a free agent at season’s end, which means he’d be a rental. (And yet another bridge to Freddie Freeman.)

According to Chicago blogger David Kaplan: “The deal that would send Lee to the Braves has not yet been finalized but MLB sources characterize the trade as nearly done.”

Lee has a no-trade clause and spurned a move to the Angels last month. From Kaplan: “Sources close to Lee tell us that he will approve a deal to Atlanta because the Braves are leading their division.”

Another factor: As Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago notes, Lee “is out until at least Thursday [after receiving] an epidural shot in his back on Monday to relieve the pain.”

One thing more: Lee hit four homers over the weekend against the Cardinals. That gives him 16 for the season, with 56 RBI’s. Troy Glaus, whom Lee would presumably supplant, has 16 homers and 70 RBI’s and owns a higher on-base percentage.

If the Braves are to make a deal before September — and a player has to be on the roster by Sept. 1 to be eligible for the postseason — Lee makes as much sense as anybody. He has playoff experience. (He was the first baseman on the Marlins’ World Series-winning team of 2003.) He wouldn’t tie up salary beyond November. But I’m a bit uneasy about the wisdom of plugging in one creaky first baseman for another.

Then again, I’m easily rendered uneasy. So maybe I’m not the best gauge.

474 comments Add your comment

Hard Chargers7

August 18th, 2010
10:54 am

I hope this deal goes down ASAP.We need all the pop in the line up we can get.Small ball can only go so far to hold this team together in 1 run leads.

KnightInATL

August 18th, 2010
10:54 am

Absolutely!!! Go get him, Wren!!

ArkyTech

August 18th, 2010
10:55 am

TommyJack

August 18th, 2010
10:55 am

Desperate need for right hand stick. Glaus looks like he needs surgery now. A good right handed batter should have a field-day in Braves lineup.

Sheldon Cooper- Left side of the couch

August 18th, 2010
10:55 am

matt r

August 18th, 2010
10:56 am

If we are calling the Cubs we should be asking about Marlon Byrd

Jason

August 18th, 2010
10:56 am

Do the deal Frank Wren. Give Glaus some time off on the bench.

Art Vandelay

August 18th, 2010
10:56 am

He’d be a welcome addition, but not a silver bullet. As long as we don’t have to give up the farm for him, I think it’s a good deal.

Hard Chargers7

August 18th, 2010
10:57 am

Even though both Glaus and Lee are having a sub par season I still like this deal.We aren’t gonna give up much to get him cause it’s a salary dump for the Cubs.Then that leaves Freeman with another year or half year in Triple A which is good.No need to rush him.

Raider Fan

August 18th, 2010
10:58 am

NOT FIRST!!!

Big L

August 18th, 2010
10:58 am

1st baby. I’m so happy. I would like to thank my mom and all the little people, without whom this accomplishment would not be possible. Oh yeah and leave Lee alone. Another gimpy first baseman makes no sense at all.

KnightInATL

August 18th, 2010
10:58 am

Why are my comments being blocked on this blog?

david

August 18th, 2010
10:59 am

who will we have to give up?

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:00 am

Mark,

Has Lee cleared waivers?

Big L

August 18th, 2010
11:00 am

Enter your comments here

Big L

August 18th, 2010
11:02 am

I would like to rescind my previous comments. Now who do I give this Grammy to?

Anon21

August 18th, 2010
11:04 am

“Derrek Lee is the first baseman. He used to be really good. He’s not as good now, but he’s still OK.”

He’s really not OK. 94 OPS+, a .416 slugging percentage, and a .330 wOBA from your first baseman is terrible. Obviously Glaus is no great shakes either, but this is like upgrading your 1980 Taurus with the wheel falling off to a 1981 Taurus and hoping that it will last you another two weeks. We need to make do with what we have for now, and make a deal for a player who isn’t terrible in the off season.

bill

August 18th, 2010
11:04 am

Just saw that the Reds designated Micah Owings for assignment. What do you think the chances are of the Braves picking him up? He’s a hometown boy, good stuff on the mound, and is an extra bat off the bench.

Smoothie

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

He’s a better fielding first baseman than Glaus and would be an upgrade for that reason alone, even with his health issues. And if you think Glaus isn’t playing hurt, you’re delusional Mark.

Mark Bradley

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

I don’t know the answer to that, Ted M. If a trade is indeed imminent, he would have had to clear waivers — or for the Braves to have been the only claiming team.

JDA

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

If the goal is World Series…sure why not. You can’t have too many vet bats. He might help us win 3 games…and that is the difference. ( two of the wins will be by his defense as opposed to the mummy at first now.)

urm

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

My gut likes this.

J-MO

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

JUST SAY NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We already have one Glaus!

Mark Bradley

August 18th, 2010
11:05 am

Can’t see the Braves adding a pitcher, bill.

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:06 am

Post all-star BA; Lee .313, Glaus .196

Interesting....

August 18th, 2010
11:06 am

So maybe 2 creaky firstbasemen splitting time and giving each other rest could equal one really good firstbasemen.

Anon21

August 18th, 2010
11:06 am

All right, here. I’ll soften the stridency of my last comment. If we’re sending the Cubs a bag of sunflower seeds in exchange for Lee and $5 million, then hey, why not? If we’re giving up any legit prospects, Frank Wren needs to have his head examined. Again. (Miss ya, Yunel!)

Casey Stinkle

August 18th, 2010
11:06 am

It is an improvement over Glaus….I think.

boots

August 18th, 2010
11:06 am

The only reason Glaus’ numbers are similar is because he was super-human in May. Otherwise, he sucks. I think this would be an upgrade. The Braves should keep Glaus around, I guess, but he doesn’t offer much off the bench. He can’t run and he can’t hit a fastball. His only value would be as a power – bench hitter.

Pat's Rockett

August 18th, 2010
11:07 am

Trade one guy who hits into a double play for another one………………

I wouldnt make the trade at all.

Turtsnap

August 18th, 2010
11:08 am

I don’t want another rent a player…. given that Freeman is the man (supposedly) next year, the Braves would be foolish to give up too much for Lee. Especially given his damaged goods status now.

Still makes me mad that the Braves refuse to give Freeman a chance. Although I wouldn’t want him to follow the same career path, he could be the ‘96 version of Andruw Jones!

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:08 am

The Trade is a salary dump for the Cubs.

Daryl H

August 18th, 2010
11:08 am

Get Adam LaRoche instead. We shouldn’t rent a player with potential a injury problem.

Coach Finstock

August 18th, 2010
11:08 am

That fat kid has a great arm.

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:09 am

The difference between .313 and .196 is huge.

Jt

August 18th, 2010
11:09 am

No, don’t do it. Not sure it is an upgrade. The Braves problems are against lefties and Lee bats lefty. Also, what are you going to do with Glaus? Release him? Can’t- that would be the lowest of lows to do that to him after coming this far. Platoon him with Glaus at first? Not sure that would work- you can platoon Hinske at first if that is what they want to do. I just do not see how this is a significant upgrade when the problem is the need for a third baseman if this was pursued after Chipper went down. Don’t do it

Daniel Buck

August 18th, 2010
11:09 am

How long before this happens??

Durden

August 18th, 2010
11:10 am

I just don’t see it. Which wacky blogger is reporting this? I mean an oft-injured veteran 1B that occasionally gets hot….Don’t we already have that in Troy Glaus??? Plus we don’t need another lefty. It just doesn’t make that much sense unless we give up nothing.

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:10 am

I’d rather have Wilson Betemit but he’d never make through waivers.

Daniel Buck

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

And do you think this will be there only move the rest of the way Mark?

Ted M

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

Lee is a righty

Donny Corleone

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

Bad knees for a bad back. Bad trade.

MattyB

August 18th, 2010
11:11 am

This is a very wieldy apple cart already, I say don’t upset it.

Mark Bradley

August 18th, 2010
11:12 am

If this trade is indeed made — and that’s a big if, Daniel – I’d imagine that would be the extent of the Braves’ maneuvering.

Coach Finstock

August 18th, 2010
11:12 am

There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body. Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.

Daniel Buck

August 18th, 2010
11:12 am

Uhhh… Durden.. Lee is a righty… If you don’t know anything dont comment

Mark Bradley

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

I doubt the Braves would have to give up much, Durden. The Cubs are just look to save a little money.

Hard Chargers7

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

OOps forgot he’s a free agent at the end of this year…DUH!

Keith

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

I assume that Glaus and Lee platoon at first to see if Glaus gets going with more rest…..but if it doesn’t, then Lee is the main man. Maybe equal rest for both of them helps both.

Remember, Lee hit 33 homers and 111 rbi last year, and hasn’t he always been with the Cubs? So change of scenery thing maybe….

But yes, I’d rather have Rochey to come back….even though I know that Lee hits 287 vs Lefties….so mehhhh. As long as we don’t have to give up hardly anything….I’m ok with it and shows that we want to win.

Lee? Really?

August 18th, 2010
11:13 am

Hang on, now. Lee has hit .308 over the last month and bopped 5 HR. He’s driven in 15 over that span. Not to mention, he’s on a team that sucks. This might be a good idea if the Braves can pull it off without selling the farm. He’s also still fairly good with the glove.