Dodgers Willing To Pay ~28 Million To Make Ethier Go Away
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers probably want to trade Andre Ethier. Andre Ethier probably wants to be traded. These two scenarios have a solution, and that’s a trade for the longtime OF.
Ethier has certainly won office pools by somehow outlasting Matt Kemp‘s Dodger career. Everybody thought he was eventually going to be the first OF gone after Yasiel Puig‘s emergence in 2013, so for him to be fighting for a spot in the OF this spring, speaks to the perfect storm of moves that caused the Kemp trade. Management changes, extreme need for a catcher, emphasis on not being committed to a player who is still productive through his decline years, and the whole idea that literally everybody else is untradeable.
This is the sad reality of the Ethier situation, he’s basically an untradeable asset.
This graph represents his past few years adequately. He’s not fast, he’s completely stopped hitting line drives, and has grown allergic to fly balls. Ethier’s stopped hitting the ball hard, and when he does hit the ball, it’s mostly grounders. A slow roller. To the right side of the infield. Normally to end an inning.
Anyways, Jon Heyman reported yesterday what has been speculated for most of the spring, that Ethier wants out if he isn’t a starter (he won’t be unless a miracle injury happens). The sad part, is the money involved.
"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"
Heyman later says that the Dodgers want to make him a 10 million dollar a year player, effectively reducing his contract to a 3 year deal worth 30 million dollars. And that’s probably not anywhere near enough to get a deal done
"Their offer to pay down the contract to the point where Ethier is making only about $10 million a year, or perhaps a bit less than that, may seem more than reasonable. But it apparently hasn’t enticed teams to the point of a trade"
The Dodgers have reached a situation where nobody wants a declining OF (even after eating 26-28 million!), so there are three ways to proceed:
1. Bite the bullet and trade him at whatever cost the Orioles/Blue Jays/whoever want him at. I mean the most money ever eaten in a trade was the Matt Kemp trade where the team sent 32 million dollars to San Diego. It’s probably time to accept the fact that any Ethier trade is going to either match, or beat that figure, so count down from 10 million dollars a year, and whoever takes Andre at the highest number left (i.e 8 million dollars a year= 32 million dollars eaten)
2. Start him and accept the fact that any OF with Ethier in it isn’t probably isn’t the best alignment offensively or defensively.
3. Keep him on the bench and risk some grandiose clubhouse mutiny?
I wish I could say the Dodgers should just shake hands and move on, the problem is, i’m not sure they know how to get to that point without shamelessly paying a player absurd amounts of money to go away .