Carlos Lee = George Bell

Carlos Lee made a nice play out in left field Tuesday night, taking a line drive off the wall and throwing out Aramis Ramirez trying to stretch a single into a double. On the other hand, he was 1-for-12 against the Cubs.

When Lee signed his big contract a couple of years ago, I read a comment from a Cardinals fan who was thrilled because he couldn’t see Lee performing for six years. Through two years, Lee has hit as expected. But Lee’s most comparable player, according to Baseball Reference, is George Bell, and that looks like a valid comparison. Same position, both big guys with mediocre defensive reputations.

Lee will be 33 in June. George Bell’s last season came when he was 33. He couldn’t play anymore. Lee hasn’t shown the signs of tailing off with the bat that Bell started showing at age 31, but I’d say there’s reason for concern. It’s hard to imagine why you would sign any player, much less one who’s not fast, to a six-year contract.

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