There’s a big move on the horizon.
Okay, well maybe “big” is a bit of stretch when it comes to this trade, unless of course you are discussing Carlos Lee’s contract.
The Astros First Baseman (for now) is set to make just under $9 Million for the remainder of the season. Owner Jim Crane, GM Jeff Luhnow and other members of the Astros front office have made it no secret the team is both in rebuilding mode as well as trying to shed itself of payroll.
Rumors began to spread last night of a variety of different situations involving the Astros. The first reported to my knowledge was a deal involving SS Jed Lowrie in exchange for two Dodgers Minor League Pitchers, Zach Lee and Garrett Gould.
Less than 24 hours later, it appears that Jed Lowrie is not a part of this deal, nor is Zach Lee.
The trade, if approved by Lee, would simply be a swap of the Astros 1B for only Gould, who is 1-6 this year for the Class A advanced… Are you ready for this? Rancho Cucamonga Quakes.
The Dodgers are reportedly willing to take on the remainder of Lee’s contract.
Currently, Lee is batting .290 with 5 Home Runs and 29 RBI’s. His On Base Percentage is a mere .342, ouch.
For the Dodgers, who have lost both Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, this would still provide them with much needed offense as they continue to struggle after such a hot start.
Lee would replace James Loney at 1B, who is only batting .236 with 2 Home Runs and 21 RBI’s. with an OBP of just .303, Lee still would be an upgrade at the position.
Of course, Lee has a no trade clause which he could use on what has been reported to be 14 teams.
I, along with most fans, believe Lee should waive his clause and pursue a title with the Dodgers. However, I could understand why Lee would want to stay in Houston.
Lee has business ties as well as a ranch in the area. He has been treated very well by the organization and loves the city itself. As mentioned on The Nosebleed section (weekly podcast I co-host with Alex Sandoval @LEXthePEX and Brian Hamilton @BHam2421) he could very well accept arbitration should the Astros offer to him this off-season.
For Carlos, and this is simply my speculation, I don’t believe he truly has the desire to even win a ring at this point.
Think of it this way, regardless of how much you love a franchise, they don’t love you back. Of course they appreciate the support but at the end of the day it’s an occupation and they do what is best for them.
You can have the view that all athletes should want a title, and to an extent I agree. But let’s be honest, what we want for Carlos Lee may not be what HE wants for Carlos Lee.
Some people may see no issue whatsoever in traveling to another city for just a few months, especially if it improves your chances for a bigger pay day down the road. Some people however (especially a millionaire like Lee) may not see the benefit in that. It may just not be for him.
I can understand frustration from fans with that, but at the end of the day it’s his decision. There isn’t a right or wrong choice in that. It’s whatever is best for him.
Of course, with all that being said, I still expect to see Lee moved by July 31st. If not to the Dodgers, they will make a deal to a team that he can not block a trade to and get something in return. He is not in their long term plans by any means.
Just remember fans, there’s always other options. If he blocks a Dodgers deal, don’t assume that means we are “stuck with him.”
It’s June 30th. Imagine the excitement just one month from now.