Houston Astros right-handed first baseman Carlos Lee is taking his talents to South Beach rather than to Los Angeles which was originally rumored.
The Astros traded Lee, 36, to the Miami Marlins for two minor leaguers–third baseman Matt Dominquez and lefty pitcher Rob Rasmussen. The Astros apparently agreed to cover most of his $9 million annual salary to make the deal with the Marlins happen.
ESPN reports that Marlins General Manager Michael Hill remarked that “We felt like it was a good time to infuse a veteran, professional, experienced bat into the lineup.” Hill added that Liee is “still a dangerous hitter. He’ll fit nicely in the middle of our lineup. He’s a proven run producer, and we’re expecting him to come in and do what he’s done his entire career.”
Prior to spending about five years with the Astros, Carlos Lee played for the Chicago White Sox (under current Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen), Milwaukee Brewers, and Texas Rangers, respectively. Lee made his MLB debut with the ChiSox in May 1999 and hit a home run in his first at-bat. He also played left field and occasional DH with the Sox.
Among their struggles this season, the underperforming Marlins have had lackluster offensive production from first base, which is traditionally a power position, with Gaby Sanchez. The Marlins are currently in fourth place in the National League East, with a record of 39 and 42.
Lee is a career .286 hitter (which is just about his season average as well as his average with the Astros) with 354 home runs, over 2,000 hits, and about 1,300 RBI.