As the Dodgers lost their sixth straight game Friday night (and in impressive 9-0 fashion), rumors began (via Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports) about a potential trade with the Houston Astros to land Carlos Lee.
While it was unclear who was in the deal and who the Dodgers were receiving, midway through Friday's game, it appeared that Lee was the likely target. In fact, it appears that the only thing standing in L.A.'s way of receiving "El Caballo" is his waving of a no-trade clause.
On the surface, the trade makes perfect sense. Lee remains a feared bat among MLB circles and plays a position (1B) that the Dodgers are desperate for help at. Furthermore, because of his large contract ($9 million remaining this season), insiders point out that trading for Lee wouldn't require anyone of the caliber of Zach Lee, the Dodgers' No. 1 prospect.
Unfortunately, that doesn't mean they're quite giving him away either, which is where my worries hit high alert.
Ned Colletti + Dodgers prospects = Worry!
In fact, here are some examples of Colletti trades that worry me:
— July 31, 2010: Dodgers trade James McDonald and Andrew Lambo to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Octavio Dotel
Note: James McDonald, who was always among the team's top prospects, currently has a 2.44 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Octavio Dotel appeared in 19 games as a Dodger and had a 3.38 ERA.
— July 26, 2008: Dodgers trade Jon Meloan and Carlos Santana to the Cleveland Indians for Casey Blake
Should the Dodgers trade for Carlos Lee?
Note: Santana hit 27 home runs last season as a catcher for the Indians. Casey Blake hit higher than .252 just once in four seasons with the Dodgers.
What scares me so much about the Carlos Lee trade idea is just how similar it is to these past deadline moves from Colletti. In the Casey Blake deal, for example, the Dodgers got decent production out of Blake, but the prospect they gave up turned out to be an excellent MLB player who made the Dodgers look bad.
The same goes for the Dotel trade. Sure, Dotel was a nice acquisition at the deadline, but to give up a guy like McDonald—who had shown serious promise—for a rental closer was crazy at the time and looks even more ridiculous now.
My problem with the Carlos Lee deal has nothing to do with Lee and everything to do with a lack of faith in Colletti's ability to work a fair deal for the Dodgers. When he's desperate, his track record is far from reassuring.
So while the Dodgers will surely make a handful of moves over the next couple of weeks, I expect that they will improve for this season and hopefully make a run into the playoffs. Where the fun begins, however, is three years from now when we find out just how much they gave up to get there.