Friday, July 6, 2012

Carlos Lee may be back in Houston after all is said and done

Carlos Lee played his first game as a member of the Miami Marlins yesterday, collecting two hits in the 4-0 win over the Brewers. Lee, who vetoed a deal to the Dodgers earlier this week, was later traded to Miami for two minor leaguers.

His reasoning for not wanted to go to Los Angeles was simple. First, Lee has a limited no-trade clause, and the Dodgers are on that list. Second, Lee has a cattle ranch in Houston, and didn't want to leave the business behind for a two month stint in L.A.. Miami though, well, that trade was easy for the Astros, as the Marlins were not one of 14 teams on his no-trade list.

So by becoming a member of the Marlins, the Astros say good-bye to their big free agent of years back, when they signed Lee to a six-year / $100 million deal. In his first three seasons with the club, he hit 86 home runs and drove in over 100. This season though, Lee has failed to deliver at the plate, hitting only five home runs in 255 plate appearances.

With the Astros moving to the American League West next season, I can see this marriage having a second chance. The Astros really didn't save as much money in the deal with the Marlins, paying all of Lee's remaining $9 million minus the pro rated minimum of around $275,000, but none the less, Lee loves it in Houston and the team will need a DH. His business is in Houston, so returning to the Astros or playing for the Rangers seem like the only possible matches. I can see the Astros offering a 2 year deal in the neighbourhood of $10 million.

The Astros were glad to see Lee off the books, even though they paid his way out of town, but I wonder if they told him see you soon, instead of thanks for the memories.

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