Last season, Don Mattingly began the year trying to juggle players before establishing a set outfield. This left veteran outfielder Andre Ethier without a starting job and he handled it well all season without complaints. Once the Dodgers lost in the postseason, Ethier made it clear that he wanted to start this year, whether it be in Los Angeles or elsewhere. While management has said nothing of the request, it appears they are trying to move the former All-Star.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the team is also willing to eat some of the 32-year-old’s contract:
The Dodgers have offered to pay down “about half” the $56 million remaining over three years on Andre Ethier’s contract in efforts to trade him, sources familiar with the talks say.
The new front office has already shown that they are willing to trade players while paying part of their salary, evidenced by the Matt Kemp and Dan Haren deal. Ethier signed a five-year, $85 million extension in 2012 before the Guggenheim Partners took over. Since he’s signed the extension, his numbers and productivity have gone down.
Ethier’s decline peaked last season when he hit just .249 in 130 games. With the rise of prospect Joc Pederson in center field, it appears Ethier would start the year on the bench again. He got the start in center field for the first game of the spring, although he did mention that he doesn’t believe he should play in center.
If the Dodgers can find a deal, it would finally fix the logjam in the outfield. It would also make sense of the Chris Heisey deal made in December as well.
Dodgers FanFest – Yasmani Grandal