The Houston Chronicle provides the latest update on the chase for Carlos Lee. It suggests that Tim Purpura could ultimately decide to give El Caballo an Aramis Ramirez-type contract–5 years, $73 million. Right now, the deal the Astros have offered Lee is believed to be 5 years for $60 million.
The Chron has a source saying that an AL team (gotta be the Orioles) has floated a $70M/5 deal. It sounds like the Phillies haven’t made an offer; maybe Pat Gillick will realize that signing Lee just to replace Pat Burrell would be a bizarre waste of time. As it is, it seems like the Astros are banking on getting some kind of hometown discount, while the Orioles are hoping that Carlos wants to play for a mediocre team for the remainder of his productive career.
Then again, it’s always possible that the Cubs will sweep in and sign Lee and Julio Lugo this weekend. Once you spend $200M, what’s another $70M?
UPDATE: Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles are willing to go six years, for between $80 and $90 million. Carlos loves his cattle ranch, but the gap between the O’s and the ’Stros seems to be widening.
By Jeff Sackmann