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Lee was batting .251 with 16 homers this season, but he was a leader in the clubhouse and a big part of the Cubs division winning seasons in ‘07 and ‘08. Last month Lee vetoed a trade to the L.A. Angels citing family concerns, but he says this was different.
“Atlanta’s in first place and they’re playing great baseball," Lee told media. "I understand what Jim (Hendry)’s trying to do over here. So you know it just felt right, and the chance to go to the post season, it’s hard to pass up.
Lee will join the Braves when they come to Wrigley Field on Friday.
The Cubs received right-handers Robinson Lopez, 19, and Tyrelle Harris, 23, and lefty Jeffrey Lorick, 22 from the Braves. They kicked in $1.7 million in the deal, to cover some of Lee's salary, but claimed a $1.7 million savings.
It's yet another in a series of moves by the struggling club.
Infielder Mike Fontenot recently switched dugouts during a series in San Francisco, pitcher Ted Lilly was sent to the NL rival Dodgers along with short stop Ryan Theriot. General Manager Jim Hendry says he worked together with Lee on the trade.
“It is a great opportunity for Derrek. Joining a first place club, great organization and a chance at this point in his career to try to win again.”