Houston Astros first baseman Carlos Lee’s name has been bantered about in several MLB rumors the past couple of days but it looks like those days could be coming to an end. Rumor has it the Los Angeles Dodgers are working hard to acquire the impending free agent to help bolster a lineup that has struggled as of late, especially at first base.
Lee owns a limited no-trade clause and the Dodgers are one of the 14 teams on Lee’s list. However, Lee has expressed a willingness to waive that clause if he were dealt to a contender, which the Dodgers are at the moment.
The Dodgers are apparently willing to pick up the $9 million or so left on Lee’s contract this season as new ownership has brought financial stability to the franchise and they are committed to winning. Picking up the entirety of the contract will also cost the Dodgers less in prospects, though they might be willing to part with pitching prospect Garrett Gould in order to pry Lee away from the Astros.
Gould was once considered a top prospect in the Dodgers organization but his star has fallen a little this season as he has struggled at High-Class A Rancho Cucamonga. The Dodgers farm system isn’t that deep, at least in terms of projectable future impact players so there isn’t much to choose from. Gould projects as a number three starter at best in my book, a fair trade for a possible impact bat down the stretch.
This season, Carlos Lee has performed well enough to make him enticing to a contender looking to shore up first base. He is a definite upgrade over James Loney who seems to regress a little more every year. Lee owns a AVG/OBP/SLG slash line of .290/.342/.412 this season with 5 homers and 29 RBI. Adding his bat into a lineup, with a healthy Matt Kemp, and Andre Eithier would give the Dodgers a legitimate playoff offense.
After losing 10 of their last 11 games, the Dodgers need to do something to help right the ship. The offense has been struggling mightily, especially with Matt Kemp out and the team is squandering good efforts by their starting rotation and losing games it should win. Adding Lee would be a major upgrade for the offense and help push the Dodgers into the playoffs.