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David Brown

Cubs chop again, trade Derrek Lee to Braves for prospects

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Derrek Lee(notes) changed his mind about being traded, waiving his right of refusal Wednesday so the Chicago Cubs could send him to the Atlanta Braves for three prospects.

About three weeks ago, Lee refused to waive his no-trade clause when the Anaheim Angels seemed interested in picking him up.

Lee's reasoning for changing his mind: There's a lot less season left and the Braves are in first place. Let's go.

"A chance to go to the postseason — it's hard to pass up," said Lee, who had played with the Cubs since winning the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003.

And so, the Great Wrigley Field Escape continues! (No, Carlos Zambrano(notes) and Alfonso Soriano(notes) aren't escaping too.)

Braves' blog Capitol Avenue (motto: "Chipper Jones is not dead") did a thorough deconstruction of the Lee deal. So head there, especially for details of the prospects — 19-year-old right-hander Robinson Lopez, right-hander Tyrelle Harris and lefty Jeffrey Lorick — coming the Cubs' way.

It looks like a decent haul. Good for the Cubs, who seem to be giving up on a lost season in all of the right ways. No matter how nice of a guy D-Lee is — he's in the top 1 percentile of nice guys — and no matter what some Cubs fans might think, it's the right move to let go.

The Braves are getting a proven if banged-up commodity in Lee, who is 34 with a bulging disc in his back. In the second half, Lee is batting .313/.356/.583 with six homers. He was out of the lineup Wednesday, in part because he was getting physical-therapy treatment.

In Atlanta, Lee would replace Troy Glaus(notes), who started like gangbusters and was a key reason the Braves jumped to a big lead in the NL East. But Glaus, who is 33 and perpetually banged-up, has been downright chilly in the second half (.196/.294/.301).

The second part of the Braves' diabolical plan is to rest Glaus, then work him out at third base in the minors for a time so he could take Chipper Jones'(notes) place down the stretch. Glaus most recently played third base with frequency with the Cardinals in 2008.

Umm, good luck with all that, Braves! At least they can cover with Brooks Conrad(notes), Martin Prado(notes), Eric Hinske(notes) and All-Star Omar Infante(notes).

And best of luck to the Cubs on their rebuilding project — which is heading for its 103rd season.

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