For months I have been talking about Andre Ethier
, you know that guy who has all but punched his ticket to his third straight All-Star Game. The votes are in, most agreed on the recently closed poll that extending Clayton Kershaw
should be the first order of business for Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten. While that certainly makes a ton of sense and is almost impossible to argue, Andre Ethier is definitely making a case for himself, and is certainly getting the new owners attention.
Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti has been staying in contact with Ethier's agents over at CAA throughout the team's ownership change in hopes of locking up his other prized offensive powerhouse. Colletti and Ethier have been outspoken on their hopes of getting an extension done. Ethier has even gone as far to say that he would be willing to work out a deal during the 2012 season.
Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio tweeted recently that he expects an extension would go as far as four or five years and get Ethier in the neighborhood of somewhere between $14MM - $15MM annually.
Over the past week or so we've heard some rumors that good ol' Ned has been in talks with the new ownership group about the well deserved and much needed extension for the Dodgers star right fielder. It's been very apparent that Colletti's sole intention up to this point has always been to have Ethier in Dodger blue for a very long time. There is no doubt that Ethier has had his peaks and valleys thus far, but generally speaking isn't that the case for most young ballplayers?
Ethier, 30, avoided arbitration this offseason by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $10.95MM. That is coming off a rough finish to the 2011 season that saw him win a Gold Glove and his second straight appearance in an All-Star Game. In 2012, it is no different as Ethier is continuing his trend off coming out the gate strong, entering tonight's game, Andre is batting .277/.333/.554, with 5 homers (almost half of his 2011 total) and his RBI total ties with none other than Matt Kemp for an NL best of 24.
Of course if Ethier can continue at this pace he will shatter his previous years numbers and go on to have the best offensive season of his career. Ethier has always been a tremendous hitter and has proved to be the most clutch hitter on the team. There is no doubting his immense value to the Los Angeles Dodgers, or really any team for that matter. Offensively, he may not be a top ten player, but there is no doubt overall he is one of the best players in the league. The one thing that has troubled Ethier's career up to this point is the ability to stay healthy and on the field, and to continually produce at the level he has proven to be capable of. Obviously that's the risk you take when signing a guy like Ethier to a monstrous long-term deal. The bottom line is though, this is a risk the Dodgers must absolutely pounce on, and hopefully Magic and Kasten are the ones to finally get it done.