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Dodgers pull out of Carlos Lee trade with Astros

Jul 1, 2012, 8:20 PM EDT

Carlos Lee Getty Images

Carlos Lee was picking his ranch over Hollywood.

With Lee expected to use his partial no-trade clause to reject the deal, the Dodgers pulled out of the trade that would have brought Lee from Houston to Los Angeles, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. The Dodgers were expected to send the Astros right-hander Garrett Gould in return.

Lee is in the final year of a six-year, $100 million contract. Under normal circumstances, he’d have full no-trade protection as a player with 10 years of service time and the last five with the same team. However, he waived those rights under the terms of the deal. As is, there are 14 teams in his no-trade clause, including the Dodgers.

The Dodgers wanted to bring in Lee to play first base over James Loney. Lee, who continued to play while mulling the trade, went 1-for-4 today and is hitting .285/.336/.402 with five homers and 29 RBI in 246 at-bats for the season. Loney is hitting .236/.303/.323 with two homers and 21 RBI in 220 at-bats.

With Carlos Lee off the table, the Dodgers could take another look at free agent Derrek Lee. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Padres third baseman Chase Headley could also be possibilities for the club.

  1. lostsok - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    Good. I wouldn’t WANT a player who’d even have to think about staying in Houston.

    • stex52 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:07 PM

      Sour grapes??

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        Just a wee bit. Suck your face right into your mouth.

  2. smcgaels1997 - Jul 1, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Good..proof LA isn’t the end all of destinations.

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM

      Not as long as the San Andreas remains a slip/strike fault under LA. But if it ever starts subducting, watch out….

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:52 AM

        You win points for humor, but alas, not for geography, as the SAF does not actually pass under L.A., but off to the east and then north of it. L.A. has its faults, lots of them, but the SAF is not directly among them.

      • Old Gator - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        Point taken.

        Then again, it does run under the unified market area claimed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Azusa, Garden Grove, Ontario, Pomona, Covina, Laverne, Redlands, San Bernardino, Twentynine Palms……

    • teambringitstrong - Jul 3, 2012 at 6:59 AM

      Maybe he has a warrant.

  3. wj4122 - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM

    Lee was a questionable quick fix……questionable at best. Kasten will put something together. But the woes for the boys in blue go beyond just hitting they need a solid sp and rp if they plan on making a good run

  4. yahmule - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    The Dodgers should give Derrick Lee a call or activate Don Mattingly or pull Steve Garvey off the neighborhood MILF. James Loney was arguably the worst starting 1B in the Majors the previous four years, but he has taken sucking to new levels in 2012. He’s on pace for these numbers in a projected 151 games this season: 4 homers, 36 runs, 43 RBI, .236, 0 SB. These are numbers that would have embarrassed a backup SS in 1967.

    • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM

      I wonder how many folks need to be enlightened that MILF isn’t another slash-line acrostic…er, no, maybe I better put that another way….

    • sincitybonobo - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:06 AM

      Loney has been consistently and increasingly brutal. In his recent tailspin, he’s developed an aversion to working the count. Frequently, he’s been up there hacking, frequently swinging at the first pitch and making weak contact. The corner IF positions have been a problem for LA ever since Beltre departed. 1B is a position where offensive production and power are simply not optional. Throw in league average production at 1B and 3B, and the Dodgers would still be a few games clear of the Giants. For what other team could Loney start in MLB?

    • derklempner - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:08 AM

      What about LaHair? I bet the Cubs would be happy to part ways with him for some more starting pitching, although I think Garrett Gould wouldn’t be their choice.

  5. ch0psuey - Jul 1, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    Now if only Frank McCourt had pulled out from his Ex Wife….

    • xavier46 - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:15 PM

      Yeah, the headline should be:
      “Dodgers pull out of Carlos Lee”

  6. sincitybonobo - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:31 PM

    I will preface this by saying he simply exercised an option that was available to him and broke no rules.

    However, at the tail end of a contract that he never came close to justifying, he has a chance to save the woebegone Astros some money, let them pick up a couple of prospects, and make a push for October with a storied franchise.

    He’d be spending six extra weeks in the regular season away from his ranch. Half of his remaining games as an Astro will be played on the road.

    Weak. If he weren’t ridiculously overpaid, I wouldn’t be so hard on him. Exercising this option is permissible. However, it does not prevent you from being perceived as gutless and selfish.

    • yahmule - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:47 PM

      Well said.

      • Old Gator - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        Except that Lee at this point in his career, justifiably, doesn’t give a crap about how he’s perceived. Nor should he. He negotiated the privileges he has. And what’s this garbage about doing what’s best for the franchise? If he didn’t have that clause and didn’t have five-and-ten privileges to fall back on, would the team be nearly as generous of spirit as you seem to expect him to be? Crap, no – if they saw and advantageous trade, they’d send him to the other end of the planet and screw how he felt about it. That’s business.Why should he not act in what he feels to be his own best interests if he knows – everybody knows – that the team wouldn’t hesitate to act in its own best interests if it had the power to do so? That’s just fanboy hypocrisy of the most obvious order.

      • stex52 - Jul 2, 2012 at 8:16 AM

        I really wish he had gone, but he was perfectly within his rights per negotiation. People also forget that he gave Houston a discount when he came. And I disagree that he performed poorly in Houston; look at the stats. He was pretty much exactly as advertised. They just overpaid. Not his fault.

  7. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:36 PM

    You’d have to assume, by your analysis, that Lee views baseball as more than a job. We don’t know this, but his decision leads me to believe that’s exactly how he feels. His only obligation is to show up everyday that he is healthy and try his best. If he does that, he fulfills his contract, despite the dollar amounts or the numbers he puts up. Perhaps organizational loyalty/outcomes, don’t matter to some players. I’m sure of it. Players make commitments, outside of their baseball lives, to other business entities, people and family. Being traded might infringe on those commitments, which truthfully, may even be more important than their baseball careers. Ultimately, we don’t know every players ,motivations. Some want to win at all costs and will take less to play for a winner. Others look to maximize their earnings, rings be damned. And even others look for neither of these things, but choose lifestyle and proximity to family as their deciding factors. Again, Lee originally had a reason for adding LA to his list of teams he’d does not want to play for. He’s just exercising his negotiating rights. No one should be upset with this, including and especially the Astros.

    • stex52 - Jul 2, 2012 at 8:11 AM

      No arguments with anything you said. Lee gave Houston a discount over San Francisco when he came. Unlike most people, I look at the record and say he gave Houston a pretty good performance for five of the six years. It was like the Beltran deal with the Mets; they just gave him too much money.

      I really wish he had agreed to go to LA. But he is certainly within his rights under the contract.

  8. cbking05 - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Pulling out is not the safest method…

  9. theawesomersfranchise - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:42 PM

    Ahhh the ole’ coitus interruptus method, know it well

  10. xsherr - Jul 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Can you imagine the Maury episode with the Dodgers and Carlos? That’s good tv.

  11. sawxalicious - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    When players have a list of teams they can veto a trade too, they often list good teams with money they’d like to go anyways…but with the veto rights, they hold the upper hand and can get a more lucrative situation, such as a guaranteed extension, guaranteed option, or more money…not saying Lee did that, ’cause it doesn’t seem like he wants to go anywhere.

  12. Reflex - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:11 AM

    Random thought here, but given that a lot of players will take slightly less to play in Texas for tax reasons, wouldn’t accepting a trade from one of the lowest tax states to one of the highest tax states for even half a season put him on the hook for hundreds of thousands of additional taxes?

    Lee is possibly unsignable after this season. Regardless of where he wants to play, I have to wonder if there was a financial aspect to this as well.

  13. braddavery - Jul 2, 2012 at 3:50 AM

    He knows he most likely won’t be with a Texas team next season, so what is the point of leaving right now for L.A. Might as well stay by his ranch for the rest of this season and the next off-season, knowing that he most likely won’t be able to with his next contract. That is if he doesn’t decide to just retire and stay on his ranch for good.

  14. dwaynehosey - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    The Dodgers should have gotten in on Youk when they had the chance.

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