During the first day of the Winter Meetings the Astros did make some noise around the baseball world. Jon Heyman tweeted early this morning that Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers and Carlos Lee are being shopped and later Danny Knobler reported that the Astros would eat half of Myers’ and Lee’s contract. Wandy and Brett were always figured to be shopped but there were questions as to if the Astros would look to move the 1b/of or hang on to the last remaining established offensive threat on the club. It appears that the ‘Stros have decided to make sure Brett Wallace will have as many ABs as he needs to show what he has and it certainly appears Carlos won’t be wearing brick red next season.
If the Astros believe they can move Lee by taking on half his remaining salary, the question would turn to what kind of return do the Astros expect? Carlos would essentially be on a 1-year 9 million dollar deal, that doesn’t sound to bad for a guy coming off a pretty decent season. The national media will look at the numbers and see pretty mediocre stats but removing April from the equation would give Lee a .294 avg 16 hrs 79 rbis and a .837 ops. Can the Astros sell enough clubs, not on Lee’s limited no trade clause list, that those numbers are worth 9 million dollars?
Reality is that the Astros may have to put in a few more dollars if they want anything of value in return but that may not even be the point in moving Lee. Opening up a spot for Wallace, shedding salary and the closing of a dark period in the Astros’ history may be more important than acquiring a semi-decent prospect. So the GM Winter Meetings may have a bit more activity than all of us originally expected and could mark the end of Carlos Lee in Houston.