Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee is attracting interest from the Atlanta Braves and the two teams are nearing a trade, reports CSN Chicago's David Kaplan:
As a 10-5 man (10 years in the major leagues and the last five with the same team) Lee has the right to reject a trade as he did when the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim tried to acquire him in late July. However, sources close to Lee tell us that he will approve a deal to Atlanta because the Braves are leading their division thus giving him a shot at winning another World Series ring.
Our Braves blog, Talking Chop, offers some additional perspective on the possible trade:
The deal would not involve any major Braves prospects, but Atlanta would likely pick up much of the remaining salary on Lee. The only hold-up is apparently the Braves concern over Lee's troubled back, which has led him to miss the last few games. Lee is a free agent after this season.
Lee has hit .313 with a .939 OPS since the All-Star break while Troy Glaus has hit just .196 with a .595 OPS since the break. Clearly this would be a rip and replace kind of deal, with the Braves hoping to benefit from a rejuvenated Derrek Lee.
Presumably, the move would relegate first baseman Troy Glaus to the bench. After a disappointing start to his 2010 season, Glaus recovered early in the summer, only to enter another slump as of late. Regardless, if Lee joins the Braves, he doesn't figure to be a long-term installment, as highly-touted first base prospect Freddie Freeman figures to be called up sooner rather than later.
Lee, 35, has been with the Cubs since 2004.