Marlins Prefer Past-Prime Carlos Lee Over Gaby Sanchez

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Carlos Lee is now (or soon) a Miami Marlin. The Fish have agreed to a deal that would ship minor leaguers Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen to the Houston Astros for the first-baseman. Houston will pay all but the pro-rated minimum on what is remaining of Lee's $18.5 million salary. He is in the final season of a six-year, $100 million deal. Buster Olney broke the story.

All the Marlins had to give up for a (very) cheap rental was their 2007 first-round pick and 2010 second-round pick. Dominguez could field like Brooks Robinson, but can't hit a lick. He hit .234 in Triple-A New Orleans, not what you want to see from a corner infielder. His fate was sealed when the Marlins signed Jose Reyes this winter and moved Hanley Ramirez to third base. There is a chance Dominguez turns it around and learns to hit, but I think the Marlins made the right move here. He is no Adrian Gonzalez. I have no idea whether they were smart to send Rasmussen to Houston, however.

The Marlins have not received any production from the first base position this season. Gaby Sanchez has regressed so much that he will likely get a second stint in Triple-A once Lee arrives (not before hitting a game-tying home run in the ninth inning in Milwaukee today). No other team has a lower OPS from its first-basemen than Miami. Michael Jong points out that Lee's rest-of-season projections are not a huge improvement over those of Sanchez (.254/.328/.398 for Sanchez, .277/.326/.431 for Lee), but I think the Marlins are not giving up much at all for a chance that Lee will outperform Sanchez. 


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