LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 17: Carlos Lee #45 of the Houston Astros hits a single to center field in the top of the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 17, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. The Astros defeated the Dodgers 7-3. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
With Matt Kemp still on the disabled list and LA’ lead in the NL West hovering around four games, Gurnick believes that the Dodgers may look to El Caballo to give right fielder Andre Ethier "protection" in the lineup.
Ethier, who signed a five-year extension with the club last week, started the season on fire but has struggled of late. The 30-year-old is hitting just .179/.257/.269 in the month of June with only one home run.
Lee, 36, is hitting .301/.357/.413 at first base for the Astros this year, but only has four home runs to his name. If the Dodgers were to sign Lee as a mid-season stopgap, the price would be hefty. Though a free agent at the end of the season, the aging three-time All-Star is still owed nearly half of his $18.5 million salary.
The Dodgers, who are also on the lookout for starting pitching help, have gotten surprising production out of catcher AJ Ellis and early-season pickup Bobby Abreu, but others—like James Loney and young shortstop Dee Gordon—have struggled mightily.