Certainly there are worse fates than having a left fielder who was the top pick of the amateur draft that averages 31 homers and 105 RBIs per 162 games over his seven Major League seasons. But the fact is Carlos Lee probably would have been better.
But Lee is gone to Houston, all signed up for the next six seasons where he’ll get $100 million to take aim at the shallow left-field perch at Minute Maid Park, or whatever corporation paid to put its name on the stadium. Lee, as steady performer during his career despite the concerns over his fitness and attitude, would have fit in nicely in Philadelphia.
But for six years and $100?
Secretly, or maybe not so secretly, GM Pat Gillick and the Phillies brass must have breathed a sigh of relief that Lee signed such an obnoxious deal with the Astros. While publicly downplaying the market, Gillick has a few built-in excuses and the luxury of being sane (and right) for not shelling out the mega years and bucks for Alfonso Soriano and Lee. After all, Burrell already has one of those crazy deals.
So now Gillick can do two things. One is to focus on building the Phillies’ pitching staff because the bullpen needs bolstered and the rotation needs one or two more arms. The other thing – a desperate or last-ditch maneuver, perhaps – would be to go after Manny Ramirez again.
The chances of that are slightly less than slim and none since there are so many crazy variables involved with the trades and contracts and money. Plus, earlier this month Gillick stated that Ramirez was kind of a pain in the rear. Oh sure, manager Charlie Manuel says he has a good rapport with the flaky slugger, but who knows how long that will last with a goofball like Ramirez.
Besides, we already had Terrell Owens in town. Do we really need another circus, albeit a saner, goofier circus?