Andre Ethier survived the off-season after a winter full of trade rumors and speculation that he could be the odd man out in the Los Angeles Dodgers crowded outfield situation. The Dodgers currently have four capable starting outfielders and only three spots available, meaning that one of the four could be on their way out.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, an anonymous National League special assistant believes Ethier could thrive in a new environment:
He needs someone to kick him in the butt, that’s why he would be perfect in Boston with [Dustin] Pedroia. That’s his buddy, and Pedroia would get the most out of him. He doesn’t have anyone like that in LA.
Pedroia and Ethier were teammates at Arizona State University and have remained friends throughout their careers. Boston has been a rumored spot for Ethier this off-season and the Red Sox may be looking for outfield help during the season if their oufielders don’t produce. Ethier’s motivation and drive has been questioned in the past in Los Angeles; however, last season he proved his skeptics wrong when he played in the postseason on an injured ankle. He was limited to pinch-hitting duties in the NLDS before pushing through the injury and playing in the NLCS.
This winter, Ethier and fellow outfielder Matt Kemp were the two most involved in trade rumors. Kemp is recovering from off-season shoulder and ankle surgeries and may not be ready for Opening Day. A healthy Kemp would give the Dodgers the greatest return in a trade, but a healthy Kemp was also the NL MVP runner-up in his last full season. The 29-year-old Kemp has discussed the fact that he isn’t a fourth outfielder and once he is fully recovered, he would man his position in center field. As of now, the Dodgers will hold on to their four outfielders and wait for a team to make a deal that would satisfy their needs.
Ethier may remain in Los Angeles for now, but it isn’t guaranteed that he makes it the entire season.