As Greg wrote yesterday and in what has been a very hot topic among Astros fans over the last 36 hours, Carlos Lee has invoked his no trade clause and will remain with the Astros rather than join the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Astros stood to receive pitching prospect Garrett Gould in the deal. Gould was a second round pick of the Dodgers in the 2009 draft. In 27 starts in a full season last year at Low A ball, he compiled an 11-6 record with a 2.40 ERA while striking out 104 over 123 innings. He was promoted to High A Rancho Cucamonga in the Cal league this year and has struggled. Thus far he has a 1-6 record with a 5.12 ERA while striking out 72 over 72 innings.
Lee’s decision to remain with the club pretty much assures he will not be traded to anyone on his no trade list. As has been widely discussed, Lee traded his formal 10 and 5 rights (10 years in MLB, 5 years with the same club) to have a full no trade clause the first four years of his deal and a limited no trade clause the final two years. The teams on that list are a mystery but my guess is that most of them are on the West Coast. Outside of the Dodgers, the only other team I’ve read that has had interest in Lee has been the Orioles. Their interest is likely over as they acquired Jim Thome from the Phillies yesterday.
Whatever happens with Lee, it’s clear that the Astros are actively shopping him. This was an opportunity for him to go from a bad team, to a playoff team and he declined. I’m not going to bash him for that as that right was given to him in the contract he signed with us. I can’t say I’m not disappointed though, as I really wanted to see Brett Wallace back with the team playing on an everyday basis and Gould was a better prospect than I ever thought we’d get for Lee. We’ll see what happens in the next month.