The Yankees only swung one move prior to the trade deadline, acquiring Casey McGehee from the Pirates for a bag of Qualls*. The Marlins tried to foist Carlos Lee on New York however, but the former Astros slugger invoked his no-trade clause to prevent a possible move to the Big Apple. Lee had previously vetoed a potential trade to the Dodgers while with Houston, mostly because he didn’t want to move far from his family. The Marlins were not included in his limited no-trade clause, so he had no choice to accept that move.
What the Yankees would have done with Lee is unclear, especially since their need was at third base and not first base or DH. Fernando Ballesteros has the answer after catching a conversation between Lee and a teammate, however. Here’s the translation**…
“Lee said that he talked with the Yankees and asked them what his role would be if (Mark Teixeira) was healthy. They told him that then he would be sent to left field and that they would alternate him in the lineup with Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki, and Nick Swisher. Lee said that he told them an emphatic ‘no.'”
Lee, 36, has been playing first base exclusively for just about a full season now and was a disaster in the outfield before the move. I mean, legit worst defensive outfielder in baseball type of stuff. He’s also been declining steadily at the plate, even against left-handers. Jon Heyman says the Yankees agreed to buy Lee from the Marlins for $1M before he put an end to things, but even at that price the move wouldn’t have made much sense. Lee just isn’t a fit for the roster he wouldn’t have helped the offense much either. McGehee makes immeasurably more sense.
* I have no idea who came up with that for where I first saw it, but it’s brilliant.
** The translation comes courtesy of Nick Collias, who digs up rumors from Spanish language media outlets for MLBTR.