Carlos Noriel Lee (born June 20, 1976) is a retired professional baseball first baseman and left fielder who played in Major League Baseball from 1999-2012 with the Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Miami Marlins. He had 17 career grand slams, ranking him seventh in MLB history (tied with Jimmie Foxx and Ted Williams).
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 Vizcaíno.
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 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. White Sox television announcer Ken Harrelson gave Lee his nickname "El Caballo", which means "The Horse".
Lee's best showing was in the National League with 114 RBIs. He 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, close to the four-year, $50 million extension David Ortiz signed earlier in 2006. 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.
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.
On July 4, 2012, Lee was traded to the Miami Marlins for minor leaguers Matt Dominguez and Rob Rasmussen. He played his first game as a Marlin the next day against the Milwaukee Brewers, and went 2-for-4 with a run in a win. He hit his first home run as a Marlin, a grand slam, on July 17 against the Chicago Cubs.
In reference to his nickname, Carlos has a fan club called "Los Caballitos," which means "Little Horses." He is married and has two daughters, Cassandra and Karla and a son, named Karlos. He also has a daughter named Karla Obeso. Lee owns and operates cattle ranches in Aguadulce and Houston. His brother, also named Carlos, played professional baseball in the Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers' minor league systems from 2001-2007.