The Dodgers, trying to add a big bat, are in discussions with the Astros about a trade for first baseman Carlos Lee, according to major-league sources.
Lee, 36, would need to approve the trade -- the Dodgers are one of 14 teams that cannot acquire him without his permission, according to sources with knowledge of his contract.
The Dodgers, who are using Juan Rivera and James Loney at first base, rank next-to-last in the National League in OPS at the position. They currently are playing without their 2-3-4 hitters -- second baseman Mark Ellis, center fielder Matt Kemp and right fielder Andre Ethier -- and fell out of first place Thursday for the first time since April 11.
Lee is owed just under $9 million for the rest of the season, after which he will become a free agent. Players normally require a financial inducement to waive no-trade protection. But for Lee, playing in a pennant race might amount to the same thing, enabling him to raise his value on the open market.