Marlins look to upgrade their offense at first base
Carlos Lee was traded Wednesday from the Houston Astros to the Miami Marlins for a pair of minor leaguers, according to ESPN the Magazine’s Buster Olney.
Carlos Lee will again join manager Ozzie Guillen. The pair spent time together with the Chicago White Sox during the 2004 season and will look to duplicate their success with the Marlins.
“It’s a huge move, I think, the front office, showing people how much we want to win,” said Lee’s new manager. “They show how much we care about winning this year, they showed the players that they’re willing to do anything to help this ballclub.”
In return for Carlos Lee, the Astros will receive two minor leaguers in return, third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-handed pitcher Rob Rasmussen.
Houston will soak up all the $9 million owed to Carlos Lee for the rest of the year other than a prorated minimum salary around $250,000, according to Olney.
Carlos Lee, 36, known as “El Caballo,” spent five-plus seasons with Houston and is hitting .287 with five home runs and 29 RBIs this season.
“We felt like it was a good time to infuse a veteran, professional, experienced bat into the lineup,” said Marlins general manager Michael Hill.
Carlos Lee was removed from Wednesday’s 6-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning. His locker was empty by the time the clubhouse opened after the game.
Carlos Lee’s right-handed bat will likely give the Marlins a boost at first base, a position they have struggled with this season as they look to catch the first place Washington Nationals in the NL East.
The Marlins optioned first baseman Gaby Sanchez to Triple-A New Orleans. Sanchez came into Wednesday’s game batting .194 and hit his third home run in the Marlins 7-6 10-inning victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
“Unfortunately, first base has not been a productive position for us, and we’re looking to upgrade our offensive production at that position,” Hill said.
Ozzie Guillen did not speak so positively of his former first baseman.
“It’s not easy, but that’s our job,” Guillen said. “I don’t think he should be blaming anybody. He should blame himself. We gave Gaby a lot of opportunities. The reason they made this move (is) obvious. We’ve not had much production from him, and in Carlos, we hope we’ve got more production. People don’t make moves just to make moves.”
Both Hill and Guillen are looking forward to Carlos Lee’s bat.
According to Guillen, “He will bring those guys in. He knows how to hit in an RBI situation.”
Marlins general manager Michael Hill shares Guillen’s sentiment and has said Carlos Lee is “still a dangerous hitter.” Hill added, “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.”