LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing an agreement to acquire first baseman Carlos Lee from the Houston Astros and await Lee’s decision on whether to accept the trade.
Lee has partial no-trade protection and must waive it in order for the trade to be completed. He told reporters in Houston he is considering his options.
Lee told the Houston Chronicle on Saturday he’d met with Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow that morning, when he was told about the Dodgers’ offer.
The Dodgers were held scoreless Friday night for the fourth time in five games and for the sixth time in June. While Lee would only be a marginal upgrade over James Loney at first base, an ineffective offense has been the primary culprit in a potentially disastrous month. The Dodgers have been without Matt Kemp for all but 1½ games since May 13. Andre Ethier is nursing an oblique injury, but could return in the next day or two. The club has batted .216 with six home runs – both worst in the National League – since June 1.
Once one of the premier power hitters in the league, Lee, 36, has just five home runs for the Astros and ranks 48th in the league with a .754 OPS.
Lee is in the final guaranteed season of a six-year, $100-million contract. The Astros are rebuilding as they prepare to enter the American League next season and could use either the prospects or the salary relief – Lee is due about $9 million over the remainder of the season – toward that end.
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