The 36-year-old infielder’s agent got a limited no-trade clause included in his last contract, and he put it to good use. ESPN reported that the Astros and Dodgers had an agreement, but without Lee’s approval, the deal cannot go down.
Now, it’s surprising that Lee would veto such a swap. Houston is currently 32-47 and in fifth place in the National League Central. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is 43-36, 1.5 games out of first in the NL West.
If Lee wants to be in a position to win baseball games, LA’s grass is much greener than H-Town’s right now. Sure, he may be attached to the city, having played there since 2006, but there is only a year left on his contract anyway.
Lee may not believe he needs the Dodgers, but they definitely need him. They’re still without Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis. A plague of injuries ignited a seven-game losing streak, causing memories of their early-season dominance to go up in flames along with their division lead.
While Lee isn’t capable of making the same impact on a game that he had when he made three straight All-Star appearances, he’s still a .285 batter and would be a nice boost to Don Mattingly and Dodger Blue. It will be interesting to see if Lee has a change of heart in his veto, if Houston is forced to trade him elsewhere, or if he remains an Astro altogether.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.