The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Andre Ethier to a lucrative contract extension worth $85 million over the next five years. Everyone around the league knew that they may have grossly overpaid him and, with the other players that the Dodgers acquired around the 2012 MLB trade deadline keeping them on the hook for large sums of money over many years, there is now the possibility that we could see the Dodgers trade Ethier this offseason.
Then again, who else would want to pay him as much as the Dodgers did?
Los Angeles wants a championship. That much is clear. They sold the team and the new owners opened up their wallets all throughout this past season. Unfortunately, while they proved they are willing to spend any amount necessary to win a World Series to start competing with the San Francisco Giants, who just won their second championship in the past three seasons, they did not bring in the right players.
Now, they may have to own up to their mistake and begin shipping out some players with bad contracts.
Of course, it is still going to cost them.
The Dodgers made a mistake when they acquired Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett from the Boston Red Sox. Not by trading for them, but by not insisting that the Red Sox take Ethier back in the deal along with James Loney. Boston got off far too easily in ridding themselves of some bad contracts. The Dodgers should have made them pay.
But they didn’t, and now they are left scrambling.
This is a good team. Not a championship caliber team, but not a bad team. Still, they have too much money tied up in some bad deals. Ethier is clearly one of them. The Dodgers would love to deal him, but they will most likely have to pay a pretty decent amount of his salary remaining on his contract if they are to successfully unload him this offseason.
If they are willing to do so, they can move him. It is not as if Ethier is a bad player. He just isn’t anywhere near as productive as a player should be with that type of contract. He hit .284 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI with the Dodgers in 2012. Keep in mind that many key offensive players were in and out of the lineup for Los Angeles last season, so Ethier often had to do it all by himself.
Ethier is a career .290 hitter with 129 home runs in seven big league seasons with the Dodgers. While he may not be on the trading block, per se, the Dodgers are at least “open” to the possibility of dealing Ethier, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Whether that openness leads to a trade this offseason remains to be seen.
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