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Cubs brace to lose another key teammate

The trade of Derrek Lee would affect the Cubs' clubhouse. AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

The Chicago Cubs’ clubhouse braced Wednesday for another big move from the front office as the Cubs and Braves worked on finalizing a deal that would send veteran first baseman Derrek Lee to Atlanta for prospects and cash considerations.

Lee has the right to reject any trade, however it appears he’s open to a deal to the Braves.

One Cubs player said that Lee was going to say ‘yes’ to a trade if the Cubs can work out a deal to the Braves.

Manager Lou Piniella, who’s retiring at the end of the season, must go along for the ride as the Cubs move out veterans and move in minor-league players.

“I’m part of this organization,” Piniella said. “And I’m going to support whatever they want to do.

“It’s not easy, but it’s part of the job.”

Piniella said he was aware of the reports about Lee, but he isn’t involved in trade discussions.

“I have no idea,” Piniella said in reference to the reports. “I told you when we were in the same situation with [Ted] Lilly, I don’t get involved in that area, and I really don’t want to know. Usually, in these types of deals, you get players that go into the minor-league system.

“Any manager would love Derrek Lee in the lineup. In fact, I certainly feel the same. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”

Left fielder Alfonso Soriano talked about Lee’s impact on the team.

“Mentally, yes,” Soriano said, in reference to how the team would be affected by trading Lee. “All these guys we have traded are great guys. We feel like a family, so when you lose somebody like that, it hurts mentally. I played three or four years with these guys, now if they trade him, it can affect [us] mentally.”

Lee was getting treatment during pregame activities Wednesday and declined a request by the Cubs media relations department to talk about the reports.