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Atlanta reinforces lineup with Cubs' Lee

ATLANTA — The Braves bulked up for the playoff race Wednesday, acquiring 1B Derrek Lee from the Cubs.

Atlanta sent three minor-league pitchers to Chicago, none considered top-level prospects.

Atlanta had Troy Glaus at first base but, unexpectedly, put him 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.

Lee, 34, has put up disappointing numbers in the final season of his five-year, $65 million contract, hitting .251 with a .335 on-base percentage and a .416 slugging percentage. He has also been bothered by a sore back that kept him out of the Wednesday's game against the Padres.

Lee has been hot lately, however, with a .306 average and a .694 slugging percentage in August. And the NL East leaders are looking for any offensive help they can get after losing 3B Chipper Jones to a season-ending knee injury.

"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 right-handed presence in the middle of our lineup."

Last month, Lee turned down a trade to the Angels, concerned about them having too much ground to make up in the AL West.

Lee was more comfortable coming to Atlanta.

"The main thing is we've got six weeks to go and Atlanta's in first place," Lee said. "They're playing great baseball. It just felt right. A chance to go to the postseason, it's hard to pass up."

PETTITTE UPSET: Yankees LHP Andy Pettitte is getting frustrated by his slow comeback from a left groin injury. Nearly a month after he went on the disabled list, he still can't pitch as hard as he would during a game. "I literally thought I was going to be ready to pitch against Boston" two weeks ago, he said. Also, Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez was out for a second straight game because of tightness in his left calf.

METS FACE GRIEVANCE: The players union filed a grievance against the Mets and the commissioner's office, protesting how the team has handled Francisco Rodriguez after he was injured in a fight at Citi Field. The Major League Baseball Players Association is challenging the Mets' decision to place the closer on the disqualified list and their effort to convert his contract to a non-guaranteed deal.

CARDINALS: C Jason LaRue, who suffered a concussion Aug. 10 when he was kicked in the head by Reds RHP Johnny Cueto during a brawl, still is having problems and is unlikely to return soon.

NATIONALS: C Wilson Ramos was called up from Triple-A Syracuse to fill in while C Wil Nieves is away for the birth of his child.

RED SOX: CF Mike Cameron will have season-ending surgery to repair a torn abdominal muscle. … LF Jacoby Ellsbury confirmed he has a fractured rib in his back, possibly the same one he injured in April. He's expected to be out for at least four to six weeks.

TIGERS: 2B Carlos Guillen went on the 15-day disabled list with a deep left knee bruise. 2B Will Rhymes was recalled from Triple-A Toledo.

Atlanta reinforces lineup with Cubs' Lee 08/18/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 18, 2010 10:52pm]
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