Carlos Lee mulling over whether to accept deal to Dodgers

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UPDATE: Lee told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart that he expects to make a decision Sunday.

1:43 PM: ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that as of this early afternoon, Carlos Lee continues to tell the Astros that he will not waive his no-trade clause.

Joining a contender should be a no-brainer, right? Not so easy. As Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com notes, Lee has a successful cattle ranch in Texas and is quite comfortable there.

1:01 PM: It appears the Astros and Dodgers have reached agreement on a deal that would send Carlos Lee to Los Angeles. However, Lee must waive his partial no-trade clause for the deal to go through.

According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Lee said the Dodgers have made him an an offer and he’s currently mulling over whether he will accept. He said he was given no deadline to make a decision. As of now, he is in the lineup for this afternoon’s game against the Cubs.

Lee, who turned 36 earlier this month, is hitting .290/.342/.412 with five homers, 29 RBI and a .754 OPS in 257 plate appearances this year. This includes a .667 OPS and zero homers on the road. His arrival would push James Loney into a part-time role.

Lee is due roughly $9 million for the rest of this season before hitting free agency and it’s believed the Dodgers are willing to absorb his remaining salary rather than give up a significant prospect. Garrett Gould, a 20-year-old right-handed pitcher, was scratched from a start with with High-A Rancho Cucamonga last night and could be headed to the Astros. Baseball America ranked him as the Dodgers’ No. 6 prospect during the offseason.

Report: The White Sox and Diamondbacks are in on Manny Machado

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Buster Olney of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Diamondbacks have emerged as two of the strongest contenders for Orioles third baseman Manny Machado. It seems like a foregone conclusion that Baltimore will deal their superstar infielder this winter, but nothing appears imminent just yet. While both the White Sox and D-backs have reportedly made serious offers, Orioles owner Peter Angelos is wary of any non-contending team that might be incentivized to flip Machado to the rival Yankees next season.

The White Sox, for their part, have assured the Orioles that they view Machado more as a solid one-year rental than the new face of their franchise, with no immediate plans to deal him elsewhere. Given their current rebuilding status and the unlikelihood that they would contend in 2018, it makes their offer a bit of a head-scratcher — and, as USA Today Sports’ Bob Nightengale points out, they’ve been reluctant to put any top-5 prospects on the table in preliminary negotiations.

The Diamondbacks, on the other hand, are far better positioned to enter the postseason in 2018, though that doesn’t automatically make them the perfect landing spot for Machado. They already have Jake Lamb stationed at third base, and while it’s not inconceivable that they could jettison the Ketel Marte/Chris Owings/Nick Ahmed shortstop platoon for someone of Machado’s talent, his $17 million salary appears to be more than the D-backs are currently capable of absorbing.

The White Sox and D-backs may have exhibited the most interest in Machado so far, but they’re hardly the only contenders here. MASN Sports’ Roch Kubatko maintains that the Cardinals and Yankees remain in discussions for the 25-year-old, with Cardinals’ RHP Jordan Hicks and catcher Carson Kelly drawing interest, as well as Yankees’ top prospect Gleyber Torres. Any deal involving the Yankees still feels like a long shot, however; as Craig mentioned on Wednesday, it makes sense that the club wouldn’t want to see their star player hanging around their division rivals in 2018, and the Yankees should be well prepared to make a run at him in free agency next winter.