We first heard about it this morning just before ten o'clock, and we've been talking about it all day, and now ... it's finally here. The Atlanta Braves have acquired first baseman Derrek Lee from the Chicago Cubs. Lee did not play in this afternoon's Cubs game after receiving treatment for his ailing back. Talking Chop was the first Braves site to post the news of a possible trade this morning, with a follow up post earlier this afternoon. Extensive analysis of Lee replacing Troy Glaus at both of those links.
The Braves will apparently place Glaus on the disabled list and give him time to rest his legs for a week or so. Then he will report to triple-A Gwinnett and get some playing time at third base before returning to Atlanta when rosters expand in September. The third base move may be a bit of a watch and see approach by the Braves, and an opportunity to add more flexibility on the team, but with the way Troy was moving at first base, there's little chance he could be anywhere near average at third.
In return for Lee the Braves will send three pitching prospects to the Cubs, minor league right-handed pitchers Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris, and left-hander Jeffrey Lorick. Of that group Lopez is the real prize, as he is a young and raw international prospect. All three pitchers profile as relievers, with Lopez really being the only one with a shot at being a starter. Tyrelle Harris is a good relief prospect who could move to the Majors quickly.
The Cubs also send the Braves some cash in the deal to cover Lee's salary. That could be one reason why it took three prospects to land him.
Here is a scouting report from Scouting The Sally on Robinson Lopez. He probably just makes the top-10 prospects in the Braves system, at least he did during the mid-season list. He'd probably be a bit lower now.
Derrek Lee will join the Braves on Friday when the team travels to Chicago, and he will wear uniform number 27 -- the same number Fred McGriff wore when he was in Atlanta. If you're in the press box make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy.