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What if Braves get Derrek Lee?

8/18/2010

From ESPN Chicago:

    The Chicago Cubs and Atlanta Braves are working on a deal to send first baseman Derrek Lee to Atlanta for prospects, according to a league source.

    Lee, who is presently dealing with a bulging disc on his lower left side, received an epidural on Monday to relieve the pain and will not be ready to play again until Thursday.

    Braves top scout Jim Fregosi watched Lee hit four home runs during a series in St. Louis over the weekend. Fregosi reported back to general manager Frank Wren that Lee was swinging the bat as well as he has all season, according to a source.

    Atlanta lost All-Star third baseman Chipper Jones for the season with a knee injury on Aug. 10. First baseman Troy Glaus, a former third baseman, could be moved back to third if Lee is acquired.

The key passage here: Lee was swinging the bat well.

It's hard to swing the bat well with a bulging disc. Impossible, maybe. Add the fact that before last weekend's homer-fest, Lee was sporting a .246/.332/.383 batting line for the season, and you have to wonder if he's really any sort of upgrade over what the Braves already have.

You can understand the Braves' concern about first base, though. Since June, Troy Glaus is hitting .192/.292/.288 in 36 games. If the Braves do get a first baseman, I would expect Glaus to spend more time on the bench than at third base (where Omar Infante would provide a better glove and roughly as much hitting).