Richard Justice has a warning: Carlos Lee has been everything the Astros wanted him to be. And if you wanted a snappy defender, you have been sorely unprepared.
“I think I've done what they expected me to do. I'm a player that has been able to stay around .300, hit 30 home runs, drive in 100 runs. That's why they signed me — a guy capable of doing that. Why change?“
And Michael Bourn makes up for a lot of Lee's defensive deficiencies:
“I think I've improved over the years. The outfield was a new experience, and I'm still practicing at it. I'm not the fastest guy out there. When I play next to Michael (Bourn), he makes it a lot easier. I can concentrate on going in or toward the line. I know he's going to basically catch everything.“
CHONE predicts Lee's value to be around $10.3m this year (while the fan projections are a little bit kinder), but still not close to his $18.5m salary. Still, if Berkman can continue to get on base, and Pence can perform to a level that Lee sees some good pitches, he might be closer in value to his salary.