Astros' Lee says he may retire after 2012 season

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carlos lee swinging.jpgAstros outfielder Carlos Lee told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com Thursday that he might retire after the 2012 season, when his current contract runs out.

“I don’t know if I’m going to play after this contract is up. I’m
ready to go home,” said Lee.  “We spend so much time away from our family.  I can’t spend
any other time with my kids. I get home at 10 o’clock, 11 o’clock and
they’re sleeping and they get up at 6:30 in the morning to go to school
and I see them 10, 15 minutes. I want to be able to spend time with my
kid where they’re still young and healthy. I want to enjoy them.”

Lee is owed $18.5 million this season and the same sum in both 2011 and 2012.  The 33-year-old has a disappointing .204 batting average and a .248 on-base percentage through 103 at-bats this season, so he may have been venting because of his poor start.  But the family issues are certainly understandable.  Lee makes his offseason home in Panama, where he was born.  He has two sons
and two daughters.

The Reds have “jumped into” the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes

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The Cincinnati Reds have popped up in rumors for a lot of players that one would not normally expect. Free agents like Dallas Keuchel and, earlier, Patrick Corbin. Trade bait like Yasiel Puig. I’m not sure how serious any of that pursuit has been. Maybe it’s just P.R.-driven noise aimed at making Reds fans think the team is going for it or whatever, but it’s been kind of fun. The Reds have, basically, been that guy who shows up in everyone’s photos from the party even though no one knows who he came with or why he was there.

The latest hot stove photobomb for the Reds is Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that they have “jumped into” his trade market.

There seems to be some room to jump, as the talks with the Mets are perceived to have cooled off in the past 24 hours. It’s also the case that the Reds are far more likely to be able to improve via a trade than via the free agent market, as the Reds aren’t as attractive a landing spot as a lot as some other places. Still, given that the Marlins are the trading partner, it will almost certainly cost a lot in prospects or young big league talent to get Realmuto and that’s the sort of talent the Reds should not be in the business of giving up, so it’s hard to see a match.

But hey, the party is fun. Why not hang out for a while?