The Miami Marlins are attempting to unload first baseman Carlos Lee for what seems like anything they can find. CBSSports's Danny Knobler made that fact very simple to understand.
Marlins are trying to unload Carlos Lee.— DKnobler (@DKnobler) July 31, 2012
If the Fish are able to do so, the team will have brought a very quick end to the Carlos Lee era in Miami. The Marlins acquired Lee on July 4, within the month, from the Houston Astros for prospects Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen. Lee has been on a sharp decline this season, especially in power, since he has lost so much in terms of ability. Meanwhile, the Marlins gave up two prospects that were ranked as B prospects by John Sickels of Minor League Ball, signifying that the team at least gave up some value, no matter how small, in trading Dominguez and Rasmussen.
The idea of the trade was that, no matter how poor Lee has been this season, he could not possibly be worse than incumbent Gaby Sanchez, who hit a paltry .202/.250/.306 (.244 wOBA) with the team in 2012. The good news was that Lee certainly was better; he hit .271/.388/.343 (.334 wOBA) and was worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement in those 85 PA, apparently. The problem is that the team was bad enoug in July (10-15 record through yesterday night) that it has fallen out of the playoff race in spite of Lee's marginal gains on offense and is now no longer in need of the veteran Lee's services.No team has been confirmed as a viable trade candidate for Lee, not that they would have to give up much to get him. Teams looking for a first baseman are not going to find a good one in Lee, whose power is in such decline that he only hit three extra-base hits with he Marlins in 85 PA. It is far more likely a team acquiring Lee can get an righty off the bench with occasional first base and/or DH duties. As a result, Lee does not provide much value and the Marlins should not expect anything worthwhile in return.
With Logan Morrison injured and possibly out for the year, trading Lee would yield yet another hole in the Marlins' lineup that would likely be filled by a platoon of Greg Dobbs and Austin Kearns. The other option would be for the Marlins to promote Gaby Sanchez and have him work out his problems, but the team risks Sanchez reaching Super Two arbitration status and earning a decent raise next season. If he does, there is a chance the team will simply non-tender or attempt to trade what is left of Sanchez.
In the end, if the Marlins do find a taker for Lee, this trade will go down as a relative footnote, as the prospects the team did give up have a small chance at becoming major league regulars. Still, the response from Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra is logical enough and speaks for the process the Marlins took in acquiring a first baseman who really just was not all that good to begin with.
Hahahahaha RT— Craig Calcaterra (@craigcalcaterra) July 31, 2012
@dknobler Marlins are trying to unload Carlos Lee.