The Astros Traded Carlos Lee, They Just Couldn't Get Him to Leave

Categories: Baseball, Sports

Carlos Lee.jpg
No matter what else might happen with the Houston Astros this season, the fans should realize one thing: General manager Jeff Luhnow is a genius. What other word can describe a man who not only was able to trade Carlos Lee to a contending team for a good, young pitching prospect, but was also willing to pick up the majority of the money still owed to Lee for this season?

Sure, there was a slight problem with this trade; Carlos Lee had veto power over it. But that's not Luhnow's fault. That's the fault of Drayton McLane, who handed to Carlos Lee what has to be classified as one of the stupidest contracts in Houston sports history.

The surprising thing to come from this weekend is not that the Dodgers were so desperate that they were willing to trade for Carlos Lee, but that there are Astros fans who are shocked, SHOCKED, that Lee would dare to reject a trade to a contending team. Seriously, if you're really a fan of the Astros, and you've watched Lee these past five-plus seasons, how can you be shocked that he rejected this trade?

Have you not watched Lee jog up to first base after hitting a grounder to short? Did you not see Lee, when he played in left field, walk after balls hit down the line, or not chase down balls hit off of the wall? This is a guy who got it written into his contract that he could skip out on spring training so he could come to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and buy cattle for his ranch.

The Dodgers were desperate for help on offense. Matt Kemp, one of the best players in baseball, has spent most of this season on the disabled list. He has been able to take a team onto his back and carry the entire offensive burden, but he has not been there, and nobody else has been able to carry the team. Now, Andre Ethier, who is the second-best all-around player on the Dodgers, is battling injuries, and the Dodgers have gotten desperate.

That the Dodgers were willing to take a chance on Lee shows not only how desperate the Dodgers were, but also how bad the team's current first baseman, James Loney, is. He's so bad that Carlos Lee, a man who can no longer hit outside of Minute Maid Park, a guy who is paid massive sums of money to hit home runs but can now only manage the occasional single, is a major offensive upgrade.

But that also means that Lee would actually be under pressure. He would have to produce. He might actually be expected to run down the line after grounding out, or chase after a ball should he be put in the outfield.

So Carlos Lee did the thing he's best at. He's did absolutely nothing. The teams agreed to the trade on Friday night. He was informed of the trade on Saturday morning. When the team left Chicago for Pittsburgh, he stated that he still hadn't decided on what he wanted to do. And Sunday night, after seeing that Lee really didn't appear to give a damn, the Dodgers pulled the plug on the trade.

There's a month left until the trade deadline, and even then, if Lee can clear waivers, he can still be traded and on a playoff roster until August 31. So there's plenty of time for Luhnow to get a deal involving Lee done. After all, Lee's no-trade clause is limited, and maybe Luhnow will find a team that's not on Lee's no trade-list who is as desperate for Lee as the Dodgers were. But if you're a GM on one of these other teams, don't you kind of have to question if Lee is a guy you want on your team? He's just declined a trade to a team that's in the heart of a playoff race. Do you really want a guy with this type of attitude on your team?

It's easy to be angry with Carlos Lee -- frankly, I've been angry with Lee since he signed with the team because that contract was a disaster in the making. But when you're booing him this weekend -- if you can be bothered to attend an Astros game, that is -- perhaps there's another person you should consider being angry at. It's Drayton McLane who saddled the Astros with this contract. It's McLane who thought signing an overweight DH to a huge deal to play left field was a great idea.

In the end, it's doubtful whether fan anger will bother Lee. He's got his ranch. He'll get his paycheck no matter what. And in the end, I wouldn't be shocked to see Greg Lucas write another loving ode defending Lee and his utter inability to give a damn.


Follow Houston Press on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews or @HoustonPress.

My Voice Nation Help
10 comments
superaeroman86
superaeroman86

Berkman Pence  bourn this year lowrie altuve martinez maxwell And game time your going to go off some list that has no proof. Plus how many times in the past have the Astros made the playoffs. Answer 0 Before Carlos Lee they were in contention every year and even played in the world series

Wyatt
Wyatt

 Nice analysis, Tom. GametimeAstro, your move.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 Yes, people don't like Carlos Lee not because he's been vastly overpaid and has a lackadaisical attitude. They don't like him because fuck Panama. For sure.

Wyatt
Wyatt

 1. If people start commenting under my name, this shit is going to fall apart. I didn't post that last thing, but I agree. 2. Although Johny Royal has a good answer, the truth is, IT DOESN'T MATTER. It doesn't matter if he's the best or the worst hitter. (If he's the best, all that does is tell you the team is pretty weak.) That lazy piece of shit's numbers don't justify his salary in any context. He is objectively overpaid and currently a burden to the Astros.

A Disgusted Reader
A Disgusted Reader

Carlos Lee has every right to veto a trade to the Dodgers and while you are entitled to whatever views you may hold of his performance it is ignorant to castigate him for exercising that contractual right. The Astros were not obligated or coerced in any way to present Lee with the contract nor should he be expected to suddenly waive that right. Funny that you don't mention the fact that Lee waived his 10/5 rights when signing the contract, rights that would have allowed him to veto any trade. I guess that didn't fit into the narrative of your character assassination. If the man and his family are happy where they live, why should they be expected to leave for a situation they specifically negotiated against? Of course, they should move because of the deep-rooted jealousy and the resulting misplaced entitlement of a portion of the fan base. 

Tom Kirkendall
Tom Kirkendall

Barely. More like average.  And that cannot make up for his ghastly defense during the time he played LF. For his tenure with the Astros, if you take the runs that Lee has generated relative to an average NL hitter and subtract the runs his defense has cost the team (again, relative to an average NL fielder), Lee has generated a total of 9 more runs for the Astros than an average NL hitter would have using the same number of outs as Lee has used in generating those runs.The more I look at Lee's production relative to his contract, the worse it looks.

John Royal
John Royal

Well, Lance Berkman had a better slash line and comparable HR/RBI numbers to Lee from 2007-2010 and Hunter Pence had a better slash line and comparable numbers in 2007 and 2010-2011. Oh, the slash line is average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage. And Berkman had a better OPS than Lee in 2007-2010 and Pence's OPS was better than Lee's in 2007, 2010, and 2011. As for this season, Jose Altuve and Chris Johnson have comparable to better slash lines and J.D. Martinez is blowing him away in regards to the power numbers.  Does that answer your question?

GametimeAstro
GametimeAstro

lol king felix is probably watching porn and jacking off. He certanly doesnt watch baseball. So who has been a better hitter the last five years for the Astros?

Primehou
Primehou

First of all, nobody has been on the Astros that long other than a pitcher, waney Rodriguez. Hopefully they will be able to get a decent prospect in return for him. Secondly, no he's not a better hitter than 85% of the league. This guy is cashing in $18 million!!!! Do you think he's even coming close to fulfilling that? I hope the answer is no. He has grossly under-achieved the last 3 years AT LEAST. I won't even get into what a liability he is in the field. Although he has been better at first base. However, he has no range. He's just fat, slow and needs to retire soon!

King Felix
King Felix

lol GametimeAstro must be Carlos' mom

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...