Lee expects to decide by Sunday to accept trade
Astros first baseman Carlos Lee expects to make a decision by Sunday whether he’ll accept a proposed trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After going 0-for-4 and hitting into a double play in the Astros’ 3-2 loss to the Cubs on Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field, Lee admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult.
“That’s why I’ll probably decide by tomorrow. Either I’m going or not,” he said. “I’m going to sit down and talk to my wife tonight.”
Lee said prior to the game he was briefed by general manager Jeff Luhnow about the situation earlier in the day. Lee has a limited no-trade clause and said he would have to approve a trade to the Dodgers.
“I met with Jeff this morning and he told me what’s going on and let’s see what happens,” Lee said.
Lee did confirm the Dodgers have made an offer for the 36-year slugger who was hitting .285 with five homers and 29 RBIs this year. His power numbers have dropped off dramatically – he hasn’t any homers on the road – from earlier in his career, but he’s struck out only 17 times in 242 at-bats and could flourish in a better lineup.
“L.A. has made an offer,” Lee said. “I just told Jeff I want to see my options. I just want to wait and see what my options are.”
Luhnow said Saturday he has a policy not to discuss trades.
“The information you guys have learned from Carlos, that’s fine,” he said. “But I’m not going to add anything to that at this point.”
When Lee signed his six-year, $100-million deal with the Astros the day after Thanksgiving in 2006, the team one was year removed from the World Series and identified him as the big bat it needed to help get the team over the top. He delivered in his first three years with Houston, hitting .305 with an average of 29 homers and 107 RBIs.
Over the next few years, however, the Astros began cutting payroll and were hampered by an overall lack of talent in the Minor Leagues. Management realized it needed to rebuild, and Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt were traded for prospects in 2010. Young stars Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence followed in 2011.
Lee’s limited no-trade clause means he has to give the Astros a list of 14 teams to which his contract may not be assigned (he had the ability to change that list at the end of last year). The limited no-trade supersedes his 10-5 rights to veto any trade.
Lee, who has about $9 million remaining on his contract this season, has deep business ties in Texas and owns and operates a large ranch not far from Houston. When asked if he’d like to finish out the season in Houston or go to a contending club, Lee said that consideration would factor into his decision.
“That’s one of the things I have to think about,” he said. “There ain’t much I can tell you right now.”
One of the players that could be set to come to Houston in a potential deal is Dodgers pitching prospect Garrett Gould, who was scratched Friday from his scheduled start for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.