Houston Astros: Does Carlos Lee Trade Veto Mean He'll Sign Extension?

Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJuly 4, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 30:  Carlos Lee #45 of the Houston Astros waits in the infield during the game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on June 30, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

In the past week, Carlos Lee has made one of the most pondering decisions we’ve seen all season, vetoing a deal that would’ve sent him to the Los Angeles Dodgers (via Twitter). His contract expires at the end of the season,so does this mean he’ll sign a contract extension?

Lee is currently in his sixth season with the Houston Astros, and it’s a little surprising that he wouldn’t want a change of scenery. Since signing with Houston in 2007, the Astros have rarely had success and have finished under .500 in four of those seasons.

The Astros are well under .500 and are a long-shot to make the playoffs. Why wouldn’t Lee want to go to a contender in the Dodgers?

Sure, it could be that he’s loyal to the franchise and the fans of Houston, but doesn’t he want to win before he retires? Lee is 36 years old and doesn’t have many more seasons left in him. He’s likely to sign one of his final contracts after this season.

That brings up another good point—he’s scheduled to become a free agent after this season.

The Houston Astros probably aren’t going to be winning anything special in the next few seasons, especially once they move into the American League starting in 2013.

Why would a 36-year-old veteran want to finish his career playing for a team that isn’t going anywhere until long after he retires? It would make more sense that he would sign with a contender following this season and give it one last shot at winning a World Series.

Lee still has plenty of power and could be a valuable asset to a team in need of a first baseman, outfielder or designated hitter. He certainly won’t be signing another $100 million contract, but it should still be something worthwhile.

If Lee isn’t going to sign an extension either during or after this season with Houston, then why stay for the remainder of another disappointing season?

There isn’t any guarantee that Lee finishes this season with the Astros anyway. He only holds a no-trade clause toward a handful of teams, and he could still be dealt midseason.

Houston could decide to extend him, though.

The Astros barely have any guaranteed contracts for next season, so they would have the payroll to re-sign the former All-Star. Unless Lee really doesn’t care about winning, this could be the most likely option.

The fact that he vetoed a trade to a contending team does make me wonder about his future intentions. He decided to stay with a losing team rather than play for a winning team.

Does this mean that he wants to sign an extension with the Astros or is he just out of his mind?