MLB News: Braves to trade for Cubs’ Derrek Lee

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Braves will finalize a deal for Cubs’ first baseman Derrek Lee sometime on Wednesday.

Apparently the only thing holding up the deal is Lee’s troubling back. He had an injection in the epidural of his lower back on Monday to help ease the discomfort created by a bulging disk and has missed the past two games.

Lee is in the final year of his contract and is still owed $3.4 million. He has struggled for much of the season while hitting just .251 with 16 dingers in Chicago. But his .939 OPS since the All-Star break is attractive to the Braves, especially with Troy Glaus struggling at the dish.

Lee (who has a no-trade clause in his contract) can reject the deal, just as he did in July when the Cubs were ready to send him to the Angels. But Atlanta has reportedly already been told that he would accept a deal, so the only issue that remains is his back.

It’s doubtful that the Cubs will get much in return for Lee at this point, but the key is that they’ll get a little financial relief heading into what will be a rebuilding year in 2011. The youth movement is already on in Chicago, who has traded Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot over the past month.

Now if only the Cubs could find someone to take Alfonso Soriano, Koskue Fukudome and Carlos Zambrano off their hands.

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