Since the off-season started, questions surrounding the Los Angeles Dodgers outfield have been front and center. Of the four high-priced outfielders, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier have seen their names mentioned more than Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig.
Teams have been calling GM Ned Colletti about Kemp, but it’s Ethier that most believe the Dodgers would prefer to move. Prior to the Winter Meetings, there was a report that the Baltimore Orioles were interested in the 31-year-old outfielder, but no deal ever materialized.
Talking to the media, Ethier told Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com that he doesn’t pay too much attention to the trade rumors:
I thought I handled it last year from the year before — it’s the same old stuff. I prepare every offseason to make myself better to make the team win. I’m a Dodger until I’m told otherwise. That’s why I’m here today. I stand here today still a Dodger after all the rumors. I’m moving forward with the organization and happy to be where I’m at.
Ethier’s been out of town for most of the off-season, but was in LA doing charity work at the Union Rescue Mission. 2013 was interesting to say the least as he filled in admirably in center field with Kemp sidelined by injury after playing exclusively in right field for most of his career.
He hit .272 with 12 home runs and 52 RBI, but did hit over 30 doubles for the seventh straight season. While the power stroke wasn’t there, Ethier regained some value with a solid wRC+ of 120 and a 2.9 WAR.
Whether the Dodgers can get another team pick up the remaining years on his contract, four years and roughly $70 million, remains to be seen, but he’s likely to be the odd-man out if all four outfielders remain on the roster.
Along with addressing trade rumors, Ethier said he’s started jogging after dealing with a microfracture/ankle injury at the end of the season. He should be ready for Opening Day and whether it’s with the Dodgers, remains to be seen.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Juan Uribe agreed to a two-year deal this weekend