July 4, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Houston Astros first baseman Carlos Lee (45) waits on deck against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE
Happy Fourth everyone! Our long Houston nightmare is over, as the Houston Astros have finally agreed to trade away Carlos Lee. They sent the 36-year old slugger to the Miami Marlins for third baseman Matt Dominguez and Double-A right-hander Rob Rasmussen.
Dominguez is a great glove man at third, with both the arm and the range to win Gold Gloves there if he plays regularly. Unfortunately, his bat has never played enough to give him playing time in the majors. He'll bat somewhere around .220-.240 with an on-base percentage barely at .300 and 10-15 home runs. So, basically, he's the anti-CJ.
Dominguez has been a top prospect in the past, and John Sickels liked his defense enough to list him as a B- prospect, even with the questions about his bat. Which means Houston got two B- guys for Lee, because Rasmussen is also a B- guy.
The 5-foot-9 left-hander has struck out 75 in 87 innings in High-A Jupiter and has a low 90's fastball that he complements with an above-average slider and two solid pitches in his change and curve. That four pitch mix gives him a great chance to stick in a rotation eventually. The fact that he's just getting to Double-A also puts him in the mix to make the majors in the next year or so, giving Houston yet another polished arm to play around with when all these guys are hitting the big leagues.
No word yet on the amount of money going to Miami, but I'd imagine Houston is picking up some of his salary to get two pretty good players. It's also important to note that Houston got more for Lee than Boston apparently did for Kevin Youkilis.
Lee already had his locker cleaned out and will apparently be heading to Miami now. That means no waiting to see if he accepts the deal. Which is awesome, because I couldn't take another agonizing weekend.
Two final thoughts:
I guess Houston fans won't get a chance to serenade him with boos on Friday. Sorry, Tim.
I think Jeff Luhnow is a wizard.