Baseball Insider

Astros 'will do cartwheels' if Carlos Lee deal to Dodgers is completed

The Astros "will do cartwheels'' if Carlos Lee accepts a trade to the Dodgers, one person familiar with their thinking said.

It isn't known whether an exchange of players has been agreed upon yet, but that shouldn't be the hard part since the Astros want to deal Lee, who's worth far less than his $18.5 million contract now. The difficult part, folks agree, will be getting the approval of Lee, who has the right to veto trades to 14 of 29 other teams, including the Dodgers.

Lee was said to be reluctant to waive his veto power this winter when the Astros were shopping him. He has a profitable cattle farm in the Houston area, which is one of the reasons he rebuffed a bigger deal from the Giants to sign a $100 million, six-year Astros contract.

In any deal, the Astros would be expected to pay the majority of the $10 million or so that remains on Lee's $18.5 million salary. The Dodgers, under new rich ownership, would prefer to pay money than surrender prospects.

Lee doesn't appear ready to make a major impact, as he has only five home runs (none on the road) to go with 29 RBI and a .290 batting average. But it's clear the Dodgers are ready to move on from first baseman James Loney, who only has two home runs (both on the road).

The Dodgers are desperate for offense at this point with Matt Kemp still out, Andre Ethier ailing and most of the rest of the lineup struggling, so a deal for Lee makes some sense.

The Astros are willing to trade just about anyone on their roster, but it would take a haul for them to consider moving shortstop Jed Lowrie, who's having a terrific year there, makes a reasonable salary and is under team control for a while.

 
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