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Carlos Lee Rejects Brewers' Offer


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All-Star left fielder Carlos Lee rejected a four-year, $48 million contract offer from the Brewers on Thursday, dramatically increasing the chances that he will be traded before Monday's non-waiver deadline, major-league sources tell FOXSports.com.


The Twins, Tigers, Angels, Rangers, Cardinals, Dodgers and Astros are among the clubs expected to show interest in Lee, who could emerge as a more popular option than Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano due to the Nationals' steep demands in trade discussions.


Lee, 30, is a free agent after this season, and the Brewers' offer — believed to be the largest in franchise history — was a last-ditch attempt to sign him long-term.


The Brewers likely will seek young, major-league ready talent for Lee, who is tied for fifth in the National League with 28 homers and fifth with 81 RBIs.


"If I get legitimate (trade) offers that could make us better for next year and I can't sign Carlos, I would seriously look at it," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin told FOXSports.com on Wednesday. "Teams aren't serious yet, but that can change."


Melvin could not be reached for comment Thursday night.


Lee and Soriano are expected to be the top hitters on the free-agent market this off-season. Both likely will seek contracts of at least five years.


White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, the player with the second-most comparable statistical profile to Lee according to baseball-reference.com, signed a five-year, $60 million free-agent contract to remain with the Sox last off-season.


The Brewers, 4-8 since the All-Star break, trail the Reds by six games in the NL wild-card race and the Cardinals by 101/2 games in the NL Central. They host the Reds for three games this weekend.


The team, last in the NL in ERA and reeling from injuries to third baseman Corey Koskie, second baseman Rickie Weeks and right-handed reliever Jose Capellan, would be a longshot to contend even if it kept Lee.


"We're just so disappointed with the inconsistency of the ballclub," Melvin said Wednesday. "(Manager) Ned (Yost) and the coaching staff are flustered by it."


If the Brewers fail to get a satisfactory trade offer for Lee, they could keep him and receive two draft picks if he departs as a free agent.


The draft picks, however, would command large signing bonuses, making it more desirable for the team to trade for prospects who are closer to the majors.


Ken Rosenthal is FOXSports.com's senior baseball writer.


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Dumb dumb dumb turning that kind of money down.


The big boys (Yankees, Red Sox, Mets, Angels, Dodgers) are reasonably well represented at the corners, so unless you want to play for the Cubs, Carlos, I don't think you're touching that kind of money on a reasonable length contract.

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