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Astros agree to trade Carlos Lee to Marlins for prospects

Jul 4, 2012, 5:07 PM EDT

carlos lee ap AP

UPDATE: Olney says the deal is done and Houston is getting minor leaguers Matt Dominguez, a third baseman and one-time top prospect whose stock has dropped, and Rob Rasmussen, a 2010 second-round pick with a chance to be a mid-rotation starter. All in all not a bad haul considering the Astros were just happy to shed Lee, although they’re likely paying a big chunk of his remaining money.

UPDATE #2: Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Lee’s locker in the Astros’ clubhouse is now empty, so it looks like the trade is all but official.

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Carlos Lee turned down a trade to the Dodgers last week, but the Astros have continued to shop the veteran first baseman/left fielder and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that they’re “deep into talks” with the Marlins.

According to Olney “he has indicated a willingness to play for Miami” and a deal could be very close.

Miami first basemen have combined to hit just .206 with five homers and a .565 OPS that ranks dead last among MLB teams. In fact, no other team is below .600. They’ve turned back to Gaby Sanchez as the primary first baseman after demoting him to Triple-A earlier this season, but he’s hit just .190 with one homer in 18 games since returning to the big leagues.

Lee’s production has hardly been spectacular for a first baseman, including just five homers and a .412 slugging percentage in 65 games, but as with the Dodgers and James Loney the Marlins and Sanchez are certainly one of the few situations in which he’d represent a potential upgrade.

Lee is being paid $18.5 million in the final season of six-year, $100 million contract, so the Astros won’t be getting much in return and may have to eat a big portion of that salary.

  1. stex52 - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:20 PM

    Here’s your fourth of July present Gator. Treat him kindly. His power is mostly gone, but it sounds like he is still better than what Ozzie can put up right now. After blowing the LA deal, I imagine the Astros will just settle for saving a couple of million $. Unlike most other commenters, I think he has performed pretty well for what the Astros hired him to do six years ago. He just wasn’t worth 100 MM$. But your guys can take him farther than we can for the next two or three years.

    • Old Gator - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:10 PM

      I would bet he won’t play that much longer, but we shall see. I think with the mutually arising knee injuries to the Hanster and the Iron Giant, the Feesh felt that they had to do something. I would guess that Scott Cousins or Austen Kearns will get sent down to make room for him – possibly even Gaby Sanchez.

      In Dominguez, you’re getting a good defensive late inning infield replacement but that’s about all.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    A big day for players named Lee.

  3. SmackSaw - Jul 4, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I guess the ranch wasn’t that important.

    • stex52 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:03 PM

      Don’t think he had a choice. First reports I heard was that Miami wasn’t on his exclusion list.

      • Old Gator - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        And he’s only two and a half hours, if that, from Houston here.

      • dondada10 - Jul 4, 2012 at 8:22 PM

        Wasn’t he 10 and 5?

      • Old Gator - Jul 4, 2012 at 10:48 PM

        yes, but he negotiated away his waiver rights in return for a fatter paycheck. He did have a limited no-trade clause, but the Feesh weren’t on his list of teams to which he could refuse a trade.

  4. stex52 - Jul 4, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    I’m sure that the Astros would rather have had the money, but time to move forward. Hope he does well.

    • ezthinking - Jul 5, 2012 at 1:55 AM

      If they did, there would not have been a trade.

  5. kkolchak - Jul 5, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Awesome, he turns down a trade to a real contender only to get traded to a pretender. It doesn’t seem like someone with such an uncaring attitude about whether he ever wins a championship is the kind of personality a team looking to climb back into contention needs in their clubhouse.

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