Lee hopes he can make a difference in Miami
MILWAUKEE — For months, Carlos Lee saw the rumors but he didn’t pay much attention.
The 36-year-old first baseman had been linked in trade talks to several teams, including the Marlins, for several weeks. On Wednesday, the Astros traded Lee to Miami for prospects Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen.
Lee arrived in Milwaukee, and he was in the lineup, hitting third against the Brewers on Thursday.
“I’m a very easy going guy,” Lee said. “I take it one day at a time. Yesterday, I was with the Houston Astros, today I’m a Miami Marlin.”
Recently, Lee exercised his no-trade clause to block a potential deal with the Dodgers. The native of Panama, who has ranches in his home country and Texas, turned that deal down because of family reasons.
“It was more a family thing,” he said. “Basically, I couldn’t get everybody to agree to it. It is kind of hard to get away from the family. My wife just got here for the summer. Going to LA was going to keep us apart again. Even the kids were complaining.”
Lee didn’t have the Marlins on his limited no-trade clause, so he had no say in being dealt to Miami. However, he made it clear on Thursday that he was happy with the trade.
“There was a reason I didn’t block Miami,” he said. “It was one of the teams I wanted to play for. Thinking about me and thinking about the family at the same time, and what was best for my career. I thought Miami was a good choice. I saw rumors. It’s all talk. It happened and I’m happy to be here now.”
On his ranches, Lee raises quarter horses for rodeos.
“I kind of grew up into that,” he said. “Baseball made it possible to invest money into that. It kind of made a dream come true. I have a good ranch. I have some horses. I enjoy that.”
Lee feels he can make an impact with his new club.
“Everybody says this is a nice clubhouse and they have fun playing, let’s have fun,” he said.
Asked if Miami can get back into the playoff picture, Lee replied: “Yes, I don’t see why not. They’ve got a good team. I’ve been following. They’ve been through some tough stretches. Hopefully, I’m here to help them get over the hump.”
— Joe Frisaro