Braves and Cubs still discussing Lee
The Braves appear to be in the final stages of the process to land veteran first baseman Derrek Lee from the Cubs. Multiple sources seem quite confident that the trade will completed within the next hour or two.
Lee’s recent back problems are certainly concerning. But at the same time, it has simply been uncomfortable to watch Troy Glaus play through the leg discomfort that has him to be a liability in the lineup the past couple of months.
The Braves have seen enough to know that Glaus’ legs aren’t going to get any better this year. They can only hope that Lee’s back discomfort proves to be temporary.
With Adam LaRoche reportedly clearing waivers, the Braves would have an option to bring him back to play first base for the rest of this season. But they would rather get a right-handed bat with the power potential that Lee finally showed again this weekend.
Lee has batted .282 with six homers and a .454 slugging percentage over his past 43 games. Four of those homers were compiled this weekend against the Cardinals. Braves top scout Jim Fregosi was present during that three-game series in St. Louis. <p>
Given that most of his recent power came during this recent three-day stretch, Lee isn’t a definite solution to the Braves offensive problems. Entering this past weekend, he had homered just twice in his previous 41 games.
But while hitting .265 with a .682 OPS during this 41-game stretch, he at least proved more productive than Glaus, who has hit .175 with a .551 OPS in his past 45 games.
Throw in the fact that Lee is clearly a superior defender and it’s obvious that this trade would at least improve the Braves. But at the same time, it’s not exactly comforting to know that he would be coming to Atlanta with one of these back problems that seemingly never disappear overnight.
If this deal falls through, the Braves might at least want to look at the risk of adding LaRoche to their already left-handed heavy lineup. He has batted .382 (21-for-55) with two homers against left-handed pitchers since the All-Star break.