The Marlins got Carlos Lee from the Astros because he didn’t want to go to a contender in Los Angeles. Now they’re stuck with him because he didn’t want to join the Yankees, two sources told ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark.
Lee presumably would have been picked up by the Yankees in lieu of Casey McGehee, who was acquired from the Pirates for Chad Qualls just before the trade deadline. McGehee offers extra versatility by virtue of being able to play third base, whereas Lee would have given the Yankees a more consistent bat as a first base and DH option while they try to cover for their injuries.
It will be interesting to see if the Marlins just go ahead and release Lee at some point. The Astros are already on the hook for most of his salary, so there’s little financial incentive for keeping him. Of course, with Gaby Sanchez gone and Logan Morrison on the disabled list, the Marlins still have use for the warm body at the moment.
Lee has hit .271/.388/.343 with one homer and 12 RBI in 21 games since joining the Marlins last month. Overall, he’s at .284/.348/.396 with six homers and 41 RBI in 328 at-bats for the year.
Not all players coming in to spring training are in The Best Shapes of Their Lives. Some have put on a few pounds, such as Miguel Sano, notes Twins GM Thad Levine:
Sano has been given medical clearance to engage in all baseball workouts with his teammates, his surgically reinforced left shin now completely healed, though the Twins intend to lighten his schedule to prevent any new injuries.
They’d like to lighten something else, too: His “generous carriage,” as General Manager Thad Levine delicately put it last week. Sano’s conditioning understandably lags, after a winter largely spent incapacitated by the surgery.
Sano’s conditioning has often been a topic of conversation among the members of the Minnesota press corps, though not always in good faith. For example, last year when Sano injured his shin by fouling a ball off of it, one member of the The Fourth Estate found a way to make a column out of blaming the freak injury on Sano’s conditioning. At least in this instance his colleague is correctly noting that the poor conditioning is a result of the injury and not the cause.
Still, it’s just another issue facing Sano this spring. He’s out of shape, coming off of an injury, and — not that he’s due any sympathy for it — he’s facing a likely suspension arising out of the allegations of sexual assault leveled against him late last year.
So this spring we’ll be seeing more of Sano, it seems. At least until that time we’ll be seeing less of him.