The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking for a big bat, and rumors are swirling that L.A. is targeting Houston Astros slugger Carlos Lee in a trade. But is El Caballo willing to go to the Dodgers?
The Dodgers, at 43-35, are a game out of first place in the National League West. They're seeking Carlos Lee to boost their batting numbers, but Lee's limited no-trade clause, which includes a ban on Los Angeles, may prevent a deal from going through.
Carlos Lee has deep ties to Houston, owning a ranch in the area and living there for 5 1/2 years, as noted by the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine. The paper reported that Lee met with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow about the Dodgers' bid to acquire him.
Lee, a slugging first baseman, has to weigh his feelings about moving out of Houston for the chance to win a championship, and right now it looks like Lee's ties to the Houston area are winning out, according to MLB.com.
That's one of the things I have to think about, Carlos Lee told the website when asked if he'd like to join a championship contender. There ain't much I can tell you right now.
Lee is in the last year of a six-year, $100 million contract. If he signs off on a deal to Los Angeles, the Dodgers would owe him about $9 million, assuming Houston doesn't pay part of his prorated salary.
The Dodgers are in the middle of some offensive woes, having lost 2011 MVP runner-up Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Mark Ellis to injury. Lee, 36, is batting .290 with 5 home runs and 29 RBIs for Houston this season. During his 14-year career, he has hit .286 with 354 homers and 1,315 RBIs.
What would the Dodgers be giving up in a potential deal for Carlos Lee?
All signs point to Los Angeles parting ways with Class A Rancho Cucamonga pitcher Garrett Gould, who was scratched from his start yesterday. Gould, 20, has a 5.12 ERA in 72 innings this season.
Initial reports indicated the Dodgers were talking to the Astros about a two-for-one deal in a trade for Lee, although ESPN.com's Jason Stark said only one player would come back to Houston in a potential trade for Carlos Lee.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dodgers' bid to acquire Lee indicates the organization is losing patience with James Loney. The first baseman is in the midst of an 0-for-25 slump and is batting just .236 with two homers and 21 RBIs.