ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves bulked up Wednesday for the playoff race, acquiring first baseman Derrek Lee from the Chicago Cubs.
The Braves sent three minor-league pitchers, none considered top-level prospects, in return.
Atlanta already had Troy Glaus at first base, but, in an unexpected move, announced he'll go on the 15-day disabled list. General manager Frank Wren wants Glaus to rest his legs for a week, then head to triple-A Gwinnett to get in some work at his former position, third base.
Presumably, the Braves envision a lineup that could include both Lee and Glaus.
The Braves, leading the NL East, are looking for any offensive help they can get after losing third baseman Chipper Jones to a season-ending knee injury. Just last season, Lee, 34, hit .306 with 35 homers and 111 RBIs.
"It doesn't get any better," Jones said. "Outstanding character guy. Outstanding player. Defensively at first base, he's top-notch. And he gives us another righthanded presence in the middle of our lineup."
Lee has put up disappointing numbers in the final season of his five-year, $65 million contract, hitting .251 with 16 homers and 56 RBIs. He also has been bothered by a sore back, which kept him out of the Cubs' game Wednesday against San Diego.
Just last weekend, Lee hit four homers in a three-game series at St. Louis.
The Braves also received cash considerations in the deal. That's probably to cover some of the nearly $3.3 million that Lee is still owed this season.
All-star second baseman Martin Prado came off the disabled list Tuesday and moved over to third to fill in for Jones.
Glaus, 34, has put up solid numbers (.239, 16 homers, 70 RBIs), but the Braves said his body has worn down from the grind of the season - especially since he missed most of last season recovering from shoulder surgery. He got off to a slow start, then hit .330 with six homers and 28 RBIs in May to earn NL player-of-the-month honors.
Chicago acquired righthanders Robinson Lopez and Tyrelle Harris and lefthander Jeffrey Lorick from the Braves. Lopez and Lorick were playing at Class A Rome. Harris has pitched at three levels this season, most recently for double-A Mississippi.