Carlos Lee Rumors
Carlos Lee has announced his retirement from baseball, according to a report from the Associated Press (via ESPNdeportes.com). Lee, a client of Wasserman Media Group, said on a Panamanian sports radio show that he received offers from four different teams this offseason, but none offered the two-year deal he was seeking. Lee did not specify which teams were interested.
In parts of 14 Major League seasons, "El Caballo" hit .285/.339/.483 with 358 homers, 1363 RBIs and 125 stolen bases. During his peak years from 2003-07, Lee posted five straight seasons of 30 or more home runs. He made three straight All-Star appearances, won two Silver Sluggers and collected MVP votes on three separate occasions.
Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference both agree that Lee was worth slightly more than 28 wins above replacement over the course of his 2099 games with the White Sox, Astros, Brewers, Rangers and Marlins. According to Baseball-Reference, Lee earned $130.275MM in his career.
The injuries keep coming for the Yankees, who will now consider pursuing corner infielders after losing Mark Teixeira for eight to ten weeks. There aren’t many attractive options available in trades or on the free agent market, however. Ken Davidoff of the New York Post explains the team’s predicament:
- The Yankees acknowledge that their roster doesn’t have the same kind of depth it did in past seasons, when players such as Eric Chavez and Bartolo Colon were available to step in after others sustained injuries.
- Anything is possible for the Yankees at this point, Davidoff writes. Free agent Carlos Lee would be one option, but he hasn’t been willing to sign for a low base salary, according to Davidoff.
- Scott Rolen is available in free agency, but he hit just .244/.301/.397 in 2011-12.
- While Tyler Colvin doesn’t have a starting role with the Rockies, the Yankees and Rockies “haven’t clicked” in recent trade talks.
- GM Brian Cashman explained that he’s not at all worried about Derek Jeter’s health. “He’ll be ready when it counts,” the GM said.
The Brewers are considering first base options following the news that they’ll open the season without Mat Gamel or Corey Hart. Gamel will miss the 2013 season with an ACL injury and Hart will miss the beginning of the year with a knee injury.
Yet the Brewers are not in the mix to acquire Mike Carp, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Mariners designated the first baseman for assignment last week and appear to be on the brink of trading him.
The Brewers will start by examining internal options instead of trading for Carp or signing a free agent such as Carlos Lee, Rosenthal reports. Taylor Green, Hunter Morris and even Alex Gonzalez are among the club’s internal options at first base. Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Martin Maldonado, Taylor Green and Bobby Crosby could also play the position.
Seventeen years ago today, Cuban defector Livan Hernandez inked a four-year, $4.5MM contract with the Marlins, which included a record $2.5MM signing bonus. Hernandez made his Major League debut just eight months later as a September call-up. Hernandez was instrumental in the Marlins' 1997 World Series title run earning NLCS MVP honors and being named the MVP of the Fall Classic after winning both of his starts against the Indians. Hernandez has found steady employment ever since donning the uniform of the Giants, Expos, Nationals, Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals (again), Braves, and Brewers. The 37-year-old right-hander pitched for the latter two clubs in 2012 compiling a 6.42 ERA, 6.4 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, and 2.0 HR/9 in 67 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. The Praver/Shapiro client has said he wants to pitch in 2013. In other other news involving MLB's Florida teams:
- The Marlins have no interest in re-signing first baseman Carlos Lee despite concerns about the health of Logan Morrison, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Morrison, recovering from right knee surgery, isn't expected to begin running until a week into Spring Training.
- The Marlins are one of several teams in talks with free agent reliever Matt Capps, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.
- Within the same piece, Jackson writes the Marlins are expected to sign Austin Kearns. Clark Spencer, Jackson's colleague at the Herald, adds the deal includes an invitation to Spring Training. Kearns spent 2012 in Miami posting a slash line of .245/.366/.367 in 175 plate appearances while playing both corner outfield positions, first base, and serving as DH in interleague play and as the team's primary right-handed pinch hitter.
- Jackson also writes Marlins owner Jeffery Loria has told team president David Samson he can no longer do interviews. This comes in the wake of Loria banning Samson from doing his radio show. Jackson opines this is a mistake because Samson has made himself more accountable and accessible than many team presidents, even amid unpopular decisions made solely by Loria, who, Jackson adds, has refused to speak to the media since mid-November.
The Rays will hold their annual development camp this week for 31 of their top prospects. One point of emphasis will be baseball's drug policy in the wake of the organization seeing six of their minor leaguers receive 50-game suspensions in 2012, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "It stunk, very disappointing," Rays Director of Minor League Operations Mitch Lukevics said of the suspensions. "We spend as much time on the education of 'Do's and Don'ts' and derailers as much as we do hitting or pitching or throwing. It was very disappointing, there's no getting around it."
Marlins president David Samson has said he can’t “imagine being in the game" without president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, but it's clear that the entire Marlins front office is under scrutiny following a disappointing season in Miami. Here’s the latest as the club prepares for the offseason...
- Manager Ozzie Guillen seems like a safe bet to return in 2013, but there’s a perception among some rival evaluators that the Marlins aren’t competitive this month, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. Guillen is in the first year of a four-year contract and isn’t exempt from scrutiny himself.
- Ken Rosenthal reported today that the Marlins seem more likely to make front office changes than replace Guillen.
- The Marlins will talk to Carlos Lee’s representatives about what it would take to bring the first baseman back for 2013, Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports. It’s more likely that the Marlins will move Logan Morrison to first base, however.
- The Marlins want a legitimate power bat at third base, especially if they open the season with Donovan Solano at second. Miami is expected to consider a variety of options for third base, Capozzi writes.
For Lee to be eligible for another team’s postseason roster, he’d have to be on another club by tomorrow. He was on waivers earlier in the month, but it’s unclear if he was claimed. The Giants are among the teams currently seeking right-handed hitters.
The Marlins are responsible for paying Lee the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary, while the Astros are covering the rest of his $18.5MM salary. The 36-year-old has a .278/.346/.388 batting line in 486 total plate appearances for the Astros and Marlins this year. He has spoken to Miami officials about the possibility of returning for the 2013 season.
The Marlins tried to move Lee at the trade deadline, according to multiple reports. The Yankees agreed to pay Miami $1MM in exchange for Lee, who blocked the proposed deal. The Marlins also tried to move Lee to Baltimore at the trade deadline, according to Jon Heyman. Lee blocked a potential deal to Los Angeles back in June.
One of the largest trades in baseball history was made official on Saturday, but here's a look at what else is going on in baseball...
- The Giants' search for an outfielder is going "nowhere fast," reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links). The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have waiver priority and can block deals, though San Francisco likes having Gregor Blanco's defense in left for their fly ball pitching staff.
- Following their recent major move, the Red Sox want to keep Cody Ross according to Rosenthal (on Twitter). Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston says that Ross knows this and an extension could happen before the end of the season (Twitter links). Talks have not yet begun, however.
- The Rangers have claimed a number of players this month, including Justin Upton according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan. The club is looking for a number of ways to improve prior to August 31st.
- Before moving on to Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers made another attempt to acquire Justin Morneau last week according to Dylan Hernandez of The Los Angeles Times. They tried to land the Twins' slugger prior to the trade deadline as well.
- There is mutual interest between the Marlins and Carlos Lee about a return next season, reports MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. Earlier this month we heard that Lee wanted to return to Miami, but the club's intentions were unclear.
- Royals GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of The Kansas City Star that the team's focus this offseason will be the pitching staff, including an attempt to re-sign Jeremy Guthrie.
- Jonny Gomes told Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle that he would like to return to the Athletics next season. The 31-year-old is hitting .248/.360/.478 with 15 homers in 267 plate appearances this year.
The Marlins had a deal in place to send Carlos Lee to the Yankees before the trade deadline, but the first baseman invoked his no-trade clause for the second time this season. Despite that, Lee told Clark Spencer of The Miami Herald that he is happy in Miami and hopes to return to the team in 2013.
“I like this team,” said Lee. “I don’t know what their plans are, but I like it here.”
Spencer hears the Lee's representatives at Wasserman Media Group have already spoke to the club about coming back next season, though they would like to use Logan Morrison at first base.
The 36-year-old Lee has hit .301/.398/.369 with one homer and more walks (17) than strikeouts (13) in 123 plate appearances since being acquired from the Astros. He is making $18.5MM this summer, the final year of the six-year, $100MM contract he signed with Houston prior to 2007.
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the latest on a pair of August trade candidates...
- MLB executives say they don’t expect Cliff Lee to be claimed by this afternoon, the deadline for clubs to submit a waiver claim on the left-hander. However, one AL exec said someone might claim him since many teams are short on pitching. The Dodgers seem like the most likely candidate to claim Lee, according to the executives Heyman surveyed.
- Lee could prevent the Phillies from assigning his contract to any one of the 21 teams on his no-trade list if he is claimed on waivers, Heyman adds. Approximately 59% of 12,000 MLBTR readers expect Lee to be claimed.
- The Yankees agreed to pay the Marlins $1MM in exchange for Carlos Lee before the trade deadline, but Lee blocked the deal as Jayson Stark reported this week. The Marlins tried to get $2.5MM from the Orioles for Lee, Heyman reports. However, the Orioles declined the offer (it’s unclear if the Orioles are on Lee’s 14-team no-trade list).
- The Astros are paying Lee all but the pro-rated portion of the MLB minimum salary, so the Marlins would have turned a profit had they completed a deal with either AL East team. Lee, who is now on waivers, could be traded in August.
Cliff Lee is on waivers, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be traded or even claimed. Teams routinely place players on waivers in August, when waivers are revocable, as a way of gathering information. Here are today’s links...
- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports explains why teams should be willing to pursue Lee despite what is perceived to be a down year for the veteran left-hander.
- The Dodgers should claim Lee and dare the Phillies to let him go for nothing, Dave Cameron of FanGraphs writes.
- Carlos Lee is on waivers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Marlins considered moving Lee to the Yankees earlier this week, but he declined to approve the potential trade.
- The Rockies re-arranged their front office yesterday, but Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports is skeptical that the changes will really address the team's biggest concern: pitching.