Dodgers pull out of Carlos Lee trade with Astros

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Carlos Lee was picking his ranch over Hollywood.

With Lee expected to use his partial no-trade clause to reject the deal, the Dodgers pulled out of the trade that would have brought Lee from Houston to Los Angeles, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports. The Dodgers were expected to send the Astros right-hander Garrett Gould in return.

Lee is in the final year of a six-year, $100 million contract. Under normal circumstances, he’d have full no-trade protection as a player with 10 years of service time and the last five with the same team. However, he waived those rights under the terms of the deal. As is, there are 14 teams in his no-trade clause, including the Dodgers.

The Dodgers wanted to bring in Lee to play first base over James Loney. Lee, who continued to play while mulling the trade, went 1-for-4 today and is hitting .285/.336/.402 with five homers and 29 RBI in 246 at-bats for the season. Loney is hitting .236/.303/.323 with two homers and 21 RBI in 220 at-bats.

With Carlos Lee off the table, the Dodgers could take another look at free agent Derrek Lee. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau and Padres third baseman Chase Headley could also be possibilities for the club.

Astros greeted with boos in first spring training game

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The Astros and Nationals share a spring training facility, so it was only natural that they would open Grapefruit League play together. The Astros were the home team. Here’s the lineup they rolled out.

Teams typically include at least a few regulars in their spring training lineups as a courtesy to the fans, who are spending money to see big league players play baseball. This is especially the case for home games. However, the Astros have decided to roll out a lineup with a combined 323 MLB plate appearances.

There might be a reason for that. Houston was lustily booed as they took the field. This was after running a video on the scoreboard celebrating their 2019 AL championship.

That’s all with the team that beat them in the World Series (and is widely regarded as baseball’s current heroes for beating the big bad cheating Astros) in the other dugout, of course. Nationals starter Max Scherzer has not thrown at any Houston player, and the game is now in a rain delay. But it seems like the Astros decided to spare their players from some possible rough treatment, both from fans and opposing pitchers.

The same could not be said for Astros mascot Orbit, who was also booed.

One can quibble with the merits of booing a bunch of players who have barely touched the big leagues because you’re mad at Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, but sports fandom is something of an irrational business. Fans are going to want their pound of flesh, especially when they paid for the right to be in the ballpark and give the Astros a piece of their mind. Some of them even brought props! This is just how it all works, unfortunately. If you’re in an Astros uniform, you’re probably going to get booed.

Welcome to the 2020 season, Astros. It’s probably going to be like this all year.

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