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Carlos Lee mulling over whether to accept deal to Dodgers

Jun 30, 2012, 1:43 PM EDT

Carlos Lee Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Lee told’s Brian McTaggart that he expects to make a decision Sunday.

1:43 PM: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that as of this early afternoon, Carlos Lee continues to tell the Astros that he will not waive his no-trade clause.

Joining a contender should be a no-brainer, right? Not so easy. As Jon Paul Morosi of notes, Lee has a successful cattle ranch in Texas and is quite comfortable there.

1:01 PM: It appears the Astros and Dodgers have reached agreement on a deal that would send Carlos Lee to Los Angeles. However, Lee must waive his partial no-trade clause for the deal to go through.

According to Brian McTaggart of, Lee said the Dodgers have made him an an offer and he’s currently mulling over whether he will accept. He said he was given no deadline to make a decision. As of now, he is in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Cubs.

Lee, who turned 36 earlier this month, is hitting .290/.342/.412 with five homers, 29 RBI and a .754 OPS in 257 plate appearances this year. This includes a .667 OPS and zero homers on the road. His arrival would push James Loney into a part-time role.

Lee is due roughly $9 million for the rest of this season before hitting free agency and it’s believed the Dodgers are willing to absorb his remaining salary rather than give up a significant prospect. Garrett Gould, a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher, was scratched from a start with with High-A Rancho Cucamonga last night and could be headed to the Astros. Baseball America ranked him as the Dodgers’ No. 6 prospect during the offseason.

  1. riverace19 - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    Hmm… Continue to play for a bad team in a weird park in Houston, or go to a playoff contender with new ownership in fabulous L.A.
    Does he really have to think?

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

      Or he could just be perfectly happy where he is, with his family, in a very livable and interesting human-scale city where he already has another successful business. I dunno – seems like, yeah, there are plenty of things for him to consider.

      • djpostl - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:59 PM

        He could be happy all day long but unless he is going to play for free they won’t re-sign him once the season ends anyway so he might as well move on to a contender.

      • windycity0301 - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:36 PM

        Who’s to say Houston wouldn’t keep him as a DH next year, at much lower price of he stayed I’d assume. They are making that move and will have a need. Just a thought DJ. And with that ranch he might give that home town discount.

  2. butchhuskey - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:25 PM

    When asked if he regretted the recording of “Achy Breaky Heart,” Billy Ray Cyrus replied, “Let me mulllet over”

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:14 AM

      One of the all-time worst songs not written by Barry Manilow or Jim Webb.

  3. - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    He’s in the lineup for today’s game, so I’d say the best way to go about things would be to play out one more game to give the team time to call up / receive a replacement, then leave for LA.

  4. randygnyc - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    The Dodgers are in the running right now, thanks to a white hot start. Currently, as is, they are not a playoff team. Perhaps Lee can hold out for a better situation. I don’t think he hurts himself waiting for the deadline to draw closer.

    • stex52 - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:30 PM

      Pretty solid argument for most free agents, Randy. I’m just not sure it applies to Carlos this year. I’m guessing take the Astros’ buyout on 2013 and retire.

  5. thekingdave - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Uh, because there’s a hill and train which are about to taken out its a weird park? As opposed to a stadium where visiting fans get beaten into a coma in the parking lot?

    Do some research and find out Carlos Lee has a cattle ranch in Boling, TX which is why he signed in the first place. Googling “Carlos Lee” will do the trick.

    • riverace19 - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Yes a hill and a train = weird
      Yes L.A. is a much better city than Houston.
      Glad he has a ranch to go to in October.

      • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

        Enron…heh heh, I mean, Minute Maid is a pretty nice stadium, and frankly, I’d rather live in earthquake-free Houston than LA any day. The air is just about as bad in both places so that’s a tossup, but dear Buddha, the cost of living in Huston and the ease of getting around it aren’t remotely comparable to the huge taxes, living costs and congestion of LA. Some folks, you know, don’t like living in perpetual city and spending 10-15% of their lives sitting in traffic. Some, believe it or not, don’t even like waking up at six in the morning to find their homes shaking down on their heads, either. I really enjoy visiting LA once in awhile and I get to hit Burrito King out on Hyperion at the 5 – which alone would be worth the trip even if LA were Cleveland – but that’s about it.

      • jwbiii - Jun 30, 2012 at 5:22 PM

        “Glad he has a ranch to go to in October.”

        You’re assuming he doesn’t go there after home games. Do you think this is a good assumption? If so, why?

      • stex52 - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:54 PM

        There are at least two broad assumptions in any consideration of whether Carlos goes to LA. One is whether he gets much of an offer no matter where he goes. He can still hit for some OBP, but his power production is seriously down. Will he go from 19MM$ per year to maybe 2 MM$ per year? The second is that Carlos cares if retires. He will finish a 100 MM$+ contract in the fall and he may be ready to retire. By all accounts, he really loves it down in Boling. I wouldn’t be surprised if it reminded him a lot of ranching in Panama.

        I will stay out of the LA/Houston discussion this time because I don’t think the qualities of either city are relevant to Lee’s decision. I have pretty strong feelings on the subject (refer Gator) but they don’t matter this time.

  6. SmackSaw - Jun 30, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Anything that keeps Loney out of the lineup. #6 prospect for Carlos Lee sounds right. Jeff Kent has a cattle ranch in Texas, too. There are such things as private planes. As a ‘king’, you should know that Dave.

    • Old Gator - Jun 30, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      Dear Buddha…was that actually a Sky King reference????

      • stex52 - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:55 PM

        If I were to guess, OG, he might be referring to the King Ranch.

  7. thekingdave - Jun 30, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Then what exactly is weird? And private planes will solve the problem but, gulp, who called their shot. Read the update broseph.

  8. jrocknstuff - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    Nothing wrong with not wanting to move to a contender. At 36, with the amount of time he has put in, he’s earned the right. It’s Houston’s mistake for giving him the clause in the first place.

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    While it seems he is only delaying the inevitable, considering that Houston will not be resigning him this offseason, I don’t necessarily lame the guy. The Dodgers have kinda sucked for a while, which is what everyone thought heading into the season. Why go to a team that is not really a contender.

    Plus, if he wants another contract next year, why move from Minute Maid to Dodger Stadium? That is not a move that will help his contract year. Lee struggles to hit to the Crawford boxes these days; he doesn’t need anything that will suppress his power numbers.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      “…I don’t necessarily BLAME the guy.”

      Dang you edit feature!!!

  10. billymc75 - Jun 30, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    So trade him to the Rangers

    • jwbiii - Jun 30, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      Drive time from
      Houston to Boling: About an hour
      Arlington to Boling: About five hours

  11. thekingdave - Jun 30, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I can always count on Old Gator being the voice of reason on HBT

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 12:17 AM

      Voice of….reason?

      You insult me!

      Flintlocks or foils, sir?

  12. allbucdup - Jun 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM


    People continue to not understand the shear mass that is Texas.

  13. baddorange - Jun 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    He’d better slow down on the Big Mac’s. Looks as big as Michelle

    • stex52 - Jun 30, 2012 at 7:02 PM

      Stay classy. Oh wait, in your case, never mind.

  14. yahmule - Jun 30, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Could be a vanity issue. In Houston, Carlos is only considered mildy overweight. In LA, he would qualify as morbidly obese.

  15. beeninnikes - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:43 AM

    Carlos Lee and his huge contract has been a bust for Houston. I know he’s not very popular and people will be happy to see his contract off the books. The least he could do to help this rebuilding franchise is net us some decent prospects in return. As an Astros fan, I’ve never been a big fan of Lee. But if he doesnt waive his no trade clause to help this franchise, I (along with the majority of other fans) will really dislike him.

  16. beeninnikes - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    I know people will say that he and his agent negotiated this no trade clause, but he also greatly underperformed his contract, which is widely considered one of the worst in baseball the past couple years. He is one of the several reasons the Astros are in the position they’re in.

  17. rohlo - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    ive lived in both cities for years at a time and ill take houston over LA anyday!!! i live in san diego and have lived here most of my life now and ill take san diego over both of them..lived in floirida as kid and southeast florida is better than them all! honestly living in houston things are cheaper and taxes are low,but the freeways are just as bad in houston as LA..millions of people even thoug LA has more..houston and surrounding metro area is close to 8 million which includes all the outlying cities and media area as where LA has like 12 million….. every city has its pro’s and cons

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      Well now, let’s see. If I waive my no trade clause, I make exactly the same money I would make if I don’t waive it, but hey, I get to go to a town that costs three times as much to live in, am separated from my home, my family and my business, all of whom I won’t get to see except maybe for a few days of unbalanced scheduling (unless the Dodgers have already played those games) until the end of September. Well, I guess I could always pretend I’m on a military deployment and by a husband and father by Skype. But at least the fans won’t dislike me.


  18. xjokerz - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:01 AM

    I’m not from Texas but I would much rather live in Houston then dirt valley that is LA

  19. jimeejohnson - Jul 1, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    You guys must love humidity! West L.A. fadeaway, but at least Los Angeles is free of the humidity scourge which makes it feel a lot hotter than it really is. Texas and Florida are great in the winter but are horribly humid in summer. You get hurricanes and tornadoes, while Los Angeles gets a destructive earthquake around once every 50 years. In reality, Houston, Miami, and Los Angeles are urban areas with all the nastiness that goes with it; at least they are not New Yawk!

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