- 1B, DH, LF, OF
- El Caballo
- June 20, 1976
- 6' 2"
- 265 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 5-07-1999 with CHA
- Allstar Selections:
- 2005 SS, 2007 SS
Carlos Noriel Lee (born June 20, 1976, in Aguadulce, Panama) is a first basemen for the Houston Astros.
White Sox, Brewers, Rangers
Lee made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on May 7, 1999, hitting a home run in his first Major League at-bat. He would remain in the White Sox organization until being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Scott Podsednik and pitcher Luis Vizcaino.
Lee was the White Sox' starting left fielder for the first six years of his career, with only a few games a season as a designated hitter. He can hit for both average and power. From 2001–02, his batting average slumped to the .260s, but he has returned to exceeding .300, and has a career average of .288. His home run totals increased over the years.
Lee was selected for the National League All-Star team in his first two seasons as a Brewer, and participated in the Home Run Derby in 2005.
On July 28, 2006, he was traded to the Texas Rangers with minor league outfielder Nelson Cruz for outfielders Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix, relief pitcher Francisco Cordero, and minor league pitcher Julian Cordero. According to Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin, the Brewers attempted to re-sign Lee, but by July 27, it became apparent he would not sign a contract extension. The Brewers reportedly offered a four-year, $48 million contract extension. Lee's agent Adam Katz said the two parties were too far away in negotiations.
On November 24, 2006, Lee agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract with the Houston Astros. Lee had a productive first year in Houston, hitting .303 with 32 home runs and driving in 119 runs, which was good for a three-way tie in the National League with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But his contract is widely considered to be one of the worst signings in baseball.
In 2009 he had the lowest range factor of all starting major league left fielders (1.56). In 2010 after Lance Berkman was traded to the New York Yankees, Lee played a handful of games at first base. While this was not the first time in his career he had played first, it was the first time he did so on a regular basis. In 2011 he was an above average defender according to UZR and other statistical measurements.
Lee has a nickname "El Caballo" which means "The Horse." He also has a fan club called "Los Caballitos," which means "Little Horses." Critics call him "El Flaballo" which means "The Flabby One."
He is married and has two daughters, Cassandra and Karla and a son, named Karlos. Lee owns and operates cattle ranches in Aguadulce and Houston. His brother, also named Carlos, played professional baseball in the Milwaukee Brewers' minor league system.
- Carlos Lee