Carlos Lee Rumors
Some links to sift through as your Monday night winds down...
- Carlos Lee is remaining quiet on the potential Astros-Dodgers trade that would have sent him to Los Angeles, writes MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. "When I'm ready to talk, I'll come to you," Lee told reporters on Monday.
- Mike Newman of Fangraphs and Scouting the Sally writes that Gabriel Lino, who the Phillies acquired from the Orioles in this weekend's Jim Thome trade, is one of the Top 5 catching prospects he's scouted in person in terms of talent and ceiling. Newman opines that Ruben Amaro Jr. did well to turn a one-year deal like Thome into a talented teenage catcher.
- Josh Slatger of MLive.com writes that if the Tigers decide to make a run at Cole Hamels, third base prospect Nick Castellanos could be the "golden ticket" to acquiring the Philadelphia ace. Castellanos is blocked with both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder locked into Detroit long-term.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince looks at the ten biggest buzz topics heading into this year's trading season.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has delivered three game-winning RBIs in his five games since being called up from Triple-A last week. Here's the latest news and headlines from around the big leagues...
- The Rangers will take a business-as-usual approach to the upcoming trade deadline meaning Jon Daniels and his associates plan to consider the best players available, writes Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News. Daniels hopes his team will benefit from getting four pitchers back from the disabled list before the end of the month. "... I’m hoping we’re not big players at the deadline. Hopefully, we get our guys back, get healthy and stay healthy. That’s the biggest thing."
- The Phillies will make at least one more attempt to sign Cole Hamels to a long-term contract before the team fully commits to dealing the left-hander, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As mentioned earlier today, opposing clubs believe Philadelphia has an asking price of four to five prospects for Hamels, which makes a deal unlikely at this point. The 28-year-old was selected for his third All-Star team on Sunday after posting a 3.08 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 through 16 starts this season.
- Dodgers star Matt Kemp remains confident in his team's ability to be successful on the field after Los Angeles' deal with the Astros for Carlos Lee fell through on Sunday, says Alex Angert of MLB.com. "It's always good to get people to make your team better," Kemp said. "I don't know exactly what people think we need. We did a great job with what we have here. If we get somebody, that's good. But if we don't, it keeps going on and we have to keep playing the way we have in the first half."
- The Rays, depleted by a series of injuries, will determine how they approach the trade deadline based upon the health of Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. If Longoria and Joyce return from the disabled list shortly after the All-Star break, it would free up the Rays to bolster their weak spots at catcher and shortstop. More likely, Tampa Bay will pursue an offensive weapon that adds power to the lineup, such as Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano, who has 15 home runs since May 15.
Yesterday, we learned a deal is on the table for the Dodgers to acquire Carlos Lee and cash from the Astros for pitching prospect Garrett Gould. All that is needed is for Lee to approve the trade. Here's the latest:
- The Dodgers have pulled the plug on the Lee trade and will look elsewhere for a bat, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.
- Sources tell ESPN.com's Buster Olney that Lee has not changed his mind since Saturday and won't agree to a deal (via Twitter).
- Lee told reporters, including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, that he still hasn't made a decision and admitted the weight of trying to decide whether to accept the trade to the Dodgers or stay in Houston has been difficult. McTaggart writes several of Lee's teammates feel he wants to remain with the Astros.
Last night we learned that the Dodgers and Astros are in serious talks about a trade involving Carlos Lee, though the two sides also discussed Jed Lowrie at one point as well. Dodgers' pitching prospect Garrett Gould was rumored to be involved and he was scratched from last night's start, perhaps an indication of how far along things are at the moment. Here's the latest on Lee, the Astros, and Dodgers, with the latest up top...
- Lee told reporters (including McTaggart) that he expects to make his decision about waiving the no-trade clause by tomorrow.
- Olney hears that the Dodgers' attitude toward the trade is: "Something else will come up (if it falls through). We'll get somebody." (Twitter link)
- Sources tell Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal would be Lee and cash to the Dodgers for Gould (Twitter links). It's still unclear if Lee will waive his no-trade clause.
- As of early-afternoon today, Lee continues to tell the Astros that he will not waive his no-trade clause according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
- Lee met with GM Jeff Luhnow this morning and told reporters (including MLB.com's Brian McTaggart and The Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine) that the Dodgers have made an offer (Twitter links). He is going to take some time to decide if he wants to accept the trade, and he has not been given a deadline for his decision. He's unsure if he'll have an answer this weekend.
- The Astros "will do cartwheels'' if the trade is completed according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The hard part won't be agreeing to the pieces involved, but getting Lee's approval. Heyman mentions that Houston is willing to trade just about anyone on their roster, but it'll take quite a bit to part with Lowrie.
- The Dodgers prefer to take on salary rather than give up quality prospects under their new ownership, write Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Lee is owed just under $9MM for the remainder of the season.
- As a reminder, the Dodgers are one of the 14 teams on Lee's no-trade list, so he can veto a deal. Lee does not have traditional 10-and-5 protection, having essentially traded it for a full no-trade clause during the first four years of his six-year, $100MM contract back in 2007.
10:11pm: The Dodgers asked about Lowrie, but he's not in the current talks, tweets Buster Olney of ESPN.com. A source says that there's a 50-50 shot that Carlos Lee accepts a deal to Los Angeles for pitching prospects.
9:57pm: Dodgers' talks with Astros involve Carlos Lee, not Jed Lowrie, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (via Twitter). Lee would need to a approve deal and has the right to block a deal to the Dodgers.
9:02pm: The Dodgers are talking to the Astros about a trade that would send Jed Lowrie to the Dodgers with minor-leaguers Zach Lee and Garrett Gould headed to Houston, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com (via Twitter). One source place the odds of the deal taking place at about 50-50 right now, Olney tweets.
Sources also say that others could be involved in the talks, according to Olney (via Twitter). Lowrie would provide the Dodgers with options at shortstop and third base to go along with a power bat. The 28-year-old has a .262/.350/.492 slash line with 14 homers in 68 games this year.
Lee, 20, was the Dodgers' first-round pick in 2010 and signed with the club over attending LSU on a football scholarship. The right-hander was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga earlier this week after turning in a 4.55 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 1.6 BB/9 in 12 California League starts in 2012.
Gould, also a right-hander, was the club's second-round pick in '09 out of Wichita, Kansas. The soon-to-be 21-year-old has made 12 starts and three relief appearances in the California League this year, posting a 5.12 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.
The Dodgers are in need of a run producer and the Astros' Carlos Lee is the latest name to surface on the club's radar, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. The veteran has the ability to block trades to 14 teams, and the Dodgers are on that list. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that Lee doesn't want to play in Los Angeles Almost all of the teams on that list are high-revenue teams, providing the first baseman with leverage. More from around baseball on this Thursday night..
- With the Pirates on the lookout for offense, Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com (via Twitter) wouldn't be surprised to see them check in on Ryan Kalish or Cody Ross when Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford return to the Red Sox.
- David Ortiz hasn't been happy with the Red Sox for some time and people that have heard his complaints strongly doubt that he would want to return to Boston after this year, writes Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
- Both the A's and the Giants have had a revolving door at first base for some time, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. The Giants have used 24 players at first since J.T. Snow left, and the A's have used 41 since Jason Giambi left the first time.
- A's skipper Bob Melvin insists that the promotion of Derek Norris isn't about creating trade bait when it comes to Kurt Suzuki, writes Jane Lee of MLB.com. Earlier this week, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports wrote that Oakland would probably like to move the catcher and his $6.45MM salary.
- Carlos Beltran says that the Royals never made him a concrete, multi-year offer to keep him during his time there, writes MLB.com's Dick Kaegel. "I don't really recall getting a real offer. I knew they talked about having something done, but we never got to the point where we were serious about it," the outfielder said.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports points out that we should expect the unexpected once trade talk picks up this summer. For example, who expected Ubaldo Jimenez to be traded this time last year? Here are Rosenthal’s notes from around MLB...
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams says he’d prefer to focus on short-term goals for now and figure out whether to buy or sell closer to the July 31st trade deadline. “We’ll see where we are in July and then we’ll figure it out,” he said.
- Chase Headley is a popular trade target, Rosenthal reports. The Padres could replace Headley at third with Jedd Gyorko or move Gyorko to second if they hold onto Headley.
- The Diamondbacks explored the trade market for young catchers before signing Miguel Montero to an extension, only to find that acquiring a backstop such as Travis d’Arnaud or Austin Romine would have cost them top pitching prospect Tyler Skaggs and then some.
- Some executives wonder if the Blue Jays should make their move this summer, asking “If not now, when?” One person says the Blue Jays are monitoring Matt Garza of the Cubs.
- Carlos Lee can block trades to 14 teams, including the Dodgers, Rosenthal reports. Almost all of the teams on Lee’s no-trade list are high-revenue clubs. This provides Lee with some leverage, but doesn’t necessarily mean he’d block a deal.
- Brett Myers’ $10MM option for 2013 likely vests with between 40 and 50 games finished, Rosenthal estimates. If a team acquired the right-hander and used him as a setup man, the option wouldn’t become an issue. But teams interested in using Myers as a closer might have interest in re-working the option like the Brewers did with Francisco Rodriguez a year ago.
- The contracts for Cliff Lee, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay of the Phillies include the same no-trade protection, Rosenthal reports. Each player can block deals to 21 teams per year.
- Dodgers president Stan Kasten expects his team to be “aggressive, but not reckless” in considering possible upgrades.
The latest notes and rumors from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
- Astros people say they aren't thinking about trading their veteran players at this point, according to Heyman. One non-Astros executive likes Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers as midsummer trade candidates.
- However, the executive said it won't be easy to move Carlos Lee and his $18MM salary. Lee can block trades to 14 teams and badly wants to stay in Houston. A possible trade to the Brewers fell through months ago, Heyman reports.
- High-level Mets people such as COO Jeff Wilpon generally support David Wright, Heyman reports. The Mets won't trade Wright this summer and will try to lock him up before long, Heyman writes. It would take something "extraordinary'' for Wright to be traded this year, GM Sandy Alderson confirmed to Heyman. If the Mets were to trade Wright this summer, he would obtain the right to void a $16MM club option for 2013 and become a free agent this offseason. Mets people view Wright as a more reliable player than Jose Reyes, Heyman writes.
- Heyman also points out that Josh Hamilton's performance is going to make re-signing him that much more complex for the Rangers.
The 13-15 Astros have scored more runs than they’ve allowed so far this season, but they’re still expected to be sellers at the summer trade deadline. GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'll consider trades that add talent to the organization.
“If we have pieces on our club that are in demand by other clubs and we get enough future value for them to make up for the short-term loss, we’ll consider every opportunity,” Luhnow told Rosenthal.
The GM expects rival teams to have interest in some of his players late this summer. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, closer Brett Myers, first baseman Carlos Lee and reliever Brandon Lyon are playing well, but Luhnow said he’s not actively looking to make trades yet.
“We need those guys right now,” Luhnow said. “I’m not in any rush to have any conversations about our veteran players.”
Rodriguez, Myers and Lee have $10MM or more remaining on their contracts and relative to other middle relievers, Lyon’s $5.5MM salary is hardly a bargain. The Astros would presumably need to absorb a considerable percentage of their veteran players’ contracts to obtain highly-regarded prospects in trades.
Carlos Lee has 13 years in the big leagues and has spent the last five with the Astros, but he doesn't have traditional 10-and-5 no-trade protection according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Lee agreed to waive his 10-and-5 rights in exchange for full no-trade protection during the first four years of his contract. He can still block trades to 14 unknown teams this year.
Lee, 35, signed a six-year, $100MM contract with the Astros prior to the 2007 season. He's hit .286/.338/.486 during the life of the contract, though his home run total has declined every year since 2006. The rebuilding Astros have little use for player like Lee, but it's likely they'll have to eat a substantial portion of his $18.5MM salary to facilitate a trade this summer.