Good news from your Houston Astros. The team has called a 4 p.m. press conference to announce the signing of hotly pursued free agent outfielder Carlos Lee. The deal is reported to be for six years, $100 million.
Actually, $100 million is a sort of hometown discount. See, Lee lives on some of Drayton McLane's ranch property down in Temple. So the two were already familiar with each other. When he became a free agent, Lee, who played last season for the Milwaukee Brewers before being traded to the Texas Rangers at the deadline, didn't exactly make it a big secret that he wanted to stay in Texas. Heck, for all we know, Lee was at Drayton's house last night for Thanksgiving.
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About Lee; He's a big-time, big bat. And he's a little on the heavy side (hence the "big" part of the "big bat" tag). Lee's listed at 240 pounds on his official bio. But his playing weight last season with the Rangers was at least 270 pounds, and he's been known to teeter on the 280 mark. Thus, he might be the largest man ever to don an Astros uniform. Think of him as your modern-day Cecil Fielder.
It's not quite set in stone as to where Lee will play. Maybe he'll move to first base, and Lance Berkman to the outfield? Or do we keep the Puma at first, and move Big Lee out to left? Or hell, maybe Lee and Berk could move to the outfield? That would be like Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy ) and John Goodman playing yard together.
Don't mistake the fat smack for ingratitude. Given our short porch in left field (you know them as the Crawford boxes in left field in Minute Maid Park), Lee could ding 40 HRs here in H-town. Moreover, had Lee been here last season, he could've arguably added four to five wins to our total and helped sneak us into the playoffs. This is the guy who will blast that winning homer late in the ninth in a clutch situation when Craig Biggio is sitting on base. So kudos to your Houston Astros. We needed a bat, we got a bat. Well done.