Andre Ethier-Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Please Don't Trade Andre Ethier

Good lord I hope this isn’t true. I just want to put these rumors to bed right here and now, but I can’t, and it’s irritating me. Just when I thought I knew what the Dodgers had planned for the off-season, they throw us a curve. According to a tweet from Buster Olney, the Dodgers are “Open to the idea of trading Andre Ethier this winter” Now what the hell does that mean?

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Just a day ago, I thought I knew what the Dodgers had in mind this winter. There would be minimal moves and changes to the roster. GM Ned Colletti has said in recent weeks, that the Dodger’s primary shopping needs this hot stove will be focused on starting pitching and outfield depth. Ok fine right? I figured one or two starting pitchers, and acquire an outfielder, someone like a Tony Gwynn Jr., or a Scott Hairston type to provide bench depth, and that’s it. A few more roster tweaks, and we would be set. A nice boring off-season is kind of what I was looking forward too. Now with this news, I have to admit, we all know nothing. The truth is none of us know what Stan Kasten, and the Guggenheim group will do in their first winter as Dodger owners. It’s Kasten’s world, and we’re all just living in it.

Would the Dodgers really trade Ethier? At first I would say no, but then again, I said the same thing about the Adrian Gonzalez trade and then of course, he was traded like hours later. Literally. So I’m sure if I go on record as saying that the Dodgers will NEVER trade Ethier than on cue I’m sure he’ll be traded like ten minutes later. I believe that trading Andre Ethier would be a huge mistake for the Dodgers.

The Dodgers just signed him too. Back in the beginning of the 2012 season, the Dodgers inked Ethier to a five year 95 million dollar contract with two option years that will vest. Ethier can’t be a free agent until 2018, so if the Dodgers do trade him, they would have to find a team to take on his contract. Some are worried that by the end of the contract when Ethier is approaching his age 35 season that he’ll be in decline. Most teams would shy away from taking on Ethier’s contract.

Stacie and I are Ethier supporters on this blog. He’s been one of the best players the Dodgers have had in recent years, and he had another solid season for the Dodgers in 2012. Ethier batted .284 with a .351 OBP, hit 20 home runs and drove in 89 runs. He led the Dodgers in RBI, and was second to Matt Kemp in home runs. He is also a finalist for his second gold glove. After having knee surgery, he looked healthy for the first time in years.

There is more to the game than just numbers though. What Ethier has meant to the Dodgers over the last seven years or so can’t be put into monetary value. Yes I know Ethier is not a superstar, he is still very solid. There is nobody I trust in right field more than Andre Ethier. However despite all of Ethier’s amazing accomplishments, and walk-off moments, he has been the subject of much scrutiny from some select Dodger fans. Because some just are never happy. Somehow Ethier has been like a scapegoat for the Dodgers recent run of failure the last few years. This is a guy who had a 30-game hitting streak in 2011, and played for weeks with a blister the size of a quarter on his hands, and still hit nine home runs combined in August and September.

People still have been complaining about Ethier. They complain about his struggles with left handed pitching, and they complain about his defense. Yes I know that Ethier didn’t fare well against lefties this season. Ethier hit only .222 against southpaws, but did also hit .325 against righties. For whatever reason, Ethier hasn’t hit lefties well over the last few years, but you have to look at his overall contributions to the club which are priceless. People complain about his defense in right field. They say his defense is bad and he should be moved to left field, even though he could win his second straight gold glove. You can think whatever you want, but players win gold gloves for a reason. Only two other right fielders were nominated in the National League, it’s not a popularity contest. Ethier is a very good outfielder.

Ethier is nominated for another gold glove-Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE

People also complain about Ethier’s temper. It’s well documented that Ethier has been a bit temperamental. The thing about Ethier is he is very competitive, and when he strikes out, or makes out, he gets upset about it. It’s something that Don Mattingly has already been working on with him. It was also Mattingly who advised Ethier to choke up on his bat to combat his humongous blister. Ethier listens to Donnie, and I would like to see Ethier stay and continue his work with Mattingly.

Another thing about Ethier is he is a very streaky hitter. He’s always been like that, and he’s going to go through his slumps. It happens to all players, but some guys are just really streaky. I guess you take the goods, you take the bad and there you have the facts of life.

Now if the Dodgers do trade Ethier, then who plays right field? I have no idea. The only thing I can think of is possibly the Dodgers are thinking of trying Cuban defector Yasiel Puig in right field. Although Puig is not playing in the Arizona fall league because of an elbow staff infection. Is Puig ready to take Ethier’s spot in right field? Or will the Dodgers go out and sign someone? Honestly the free agent market is slim pickens.

The Dodgers are unlikely to resign Shane Victorino, who will hit free agency, and they just declined the option on Juan Rivera. I’m going to assume the plan will remain the same. The Dodgers will open the 2013 season with Carl Crawford in left, Matt Kemp in center, and Andre Ethier in right field.

Will the Dodgers really trade Ethier? We hope not.-Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

I hope they don’t trade Ethier. Does this rumor have any merit? The crazy truth is, I don’t know. The reality is we just don’t know what the new ownership is going to do in their first full winter as owners. Olney is an insider and a straight shooter, so normally his insights have at least some kind of truth to them, but I still can’t see this happening. Can you believe that there are only two position players left from the 2008-2009 NLCS teams? It’s true, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are the last two position players left over. That’s quite some turnover. I guess you could say no player is untouchable except for Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. We need players like Ethier. The fans need a couple of homegrown all-star players to stay with the team. This way the fans have players they can relate to and cheer for that have been with the team for a long time, and are easily recognizable as lifelong Dodgers. (Ethier actually came up in the Oakland A’s system but I digress).

This is probably just a rumor, and unlikely to happen, but we just don’t know. Hopefully the Dodgers do not trade Ethier. If that happens Stacie and I would be upset, he is a favorite of ours. So of course I admit I’m a bit biased in that regards. Will the Dodgers trade Andre Ethier? Lets hope they don’t, and if not, then I hope that all Dodger fans can learn to appreciate all of Andre Ethier’s contributions, and accomplishments as a Dodger. Ethier’s talent has been a priceless asset to the Dodgers, and he’s been a valuable member of the Dodger family for years now. If he is traded then he will be greatly missed by many Dodger fans. I wouldn’t trade Ethier for anyone, unless it were a blow me away type of trade. Do the right thing Kasten, please don’t trade Ethier. Here’s to hoping that Dre wears Dodger Blue for many years to come.

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Tags: Andre Ethier Los Angeles Dodgers

  • dusto

    I’m pretty certain the red sox will come calling. And they
    have money to burn. Ethier has had his struggles against lefties his entire
    career and should be platooned. But he is so phenomenal against righties that
    people forget about his short comings. He isn’t a particularly good defender,
    but that might not be a problem in Boston if they put him in left field. If
    this happens, and it’s something I was secretly hoping for, we can be certain
    to see Shane Victorino manning right field next year. This would also free up a
    little cash to sign Zach Grienke. Like the Dodgers need cash “freed up” for
    anything. I still think they have their limits. Ethier isn’t as good a player
    as most people think. He is very clutch and that does carry some weight to his
    popularity. However, on a day to day basis, we can’t forget the big picture
    here. He isn’t more than a 3 WAR player. He is iffy on defense. He’s just going
    to get slower going forward and is an injury risk. If we can get anything for
    him, it’s a good deal. I honestly think that Dee Gondon will get moved this
    offseason as well.

  • talkstotrees

    I completely agree with this, I believe Ethier has a vital role with the Dodgers. As a Dodger fan myself, I would be disappointed and sad if he were to be traded. He’s been a fan favorite for many years now.

    • LasordasLair


  • tqt08

    You mean you actually want to keep a platoon OF who makes 17 million per year? Ethier is a nice player but he has too many warts. He can’t hit lefties whatsoever, is an avg defender at best (that Gold Glove last year was a joke), goes into deep cold streaks, is already 31, etc. Trading him would be huge in getting some flexibility in the lineup especially with the OF. Crawford, Kemp and Ethier are all on long term deals and we also need a leadoff hitter. It’d be great to trade Ethier now before more GM’s realize that he’s an overpaid platoon player.

    • dusto

      finally! someone who sees him for what he is.

    • LasordasLair

      He’s not a platoon player. Did you know Ethier hit .313 with runners in scoring position? He hit .355 with men on base. Ethier is a talented player, that has had a lot of injuries over the past few years. yes he’s had his issues with lefty pitching, but that’s not that big of a deal to me. You have to look at his overall contributions to the team. He’s had a gazillion walk-offs for the Blue. He’s not a superstar, but a very solid player. He’s won a gold glove because he’s a good outfielder. He almost won another one this year, He rarely if ever makes errors, and his zone rating has been in the top 10 in the league. Plus if you watched him play you would know, (seeing all of his amazing catched he makes) He averages 20-25 home runs, .285-.290 avg, .360 OBP, and 80-90 RBI every season. We’re talking about a career avg OPS of around .850. Dont you think that’s pretty productive? People need to give him a break. No more Dre bashing! He’s a Dodger for life.

      • dusto

        Have you not looked at the numbers. He is absolutely atrocious against lefties. Saying, “he has had his issues with lefties” is like the government calling chernobyl a fender bender. If he truely did have a gazillion walk offs the Dodgers would have won more games last year. He is mediocre defender, hits righty pitchers great and certainly not worth the 17 million he will be making throughout the rest of his contract. At best he is a 3 WAR player and the Dodgers need to find an alternate to him when a lefty is on the mound.

        • LasordasLair

          Well, if they want to platoon him with someone, fine, but come on Dusto, we’re not trading him. You know he didn’t used to struggle against lefites. Ok yes he was bad against lefties, the last couple of years, but hes had alot of injuries. Im talking about all of the walk-offs he’s had in his career. total. Plus he’s a skilled clutch hitter. We’ll have to agree to disagree on his defense. I still think he’s a good outfielder. You know we’re big Ethier fans. Give him a break Dusto.

          • dusto

            Over the last 3 years, Ethier is 6th WORST against lefties in all of baseball. He’s also the only player in the top 15 (of the worst) that isn’t platooned. Horrible oversight by Dodger management.

          • dusto

            In 2010, Ethier was the worst of the worst defensive right fielders in baseball. He has gotten better, yes, but the skill set is declining despite his popularity.

          • LasordasLair

            He’s only made four errors in the last three years. Give him a break.

          • tqt08

            Bringing up error totals is very archaic. Please look at the metrics and you’ll see EThier as a below avg to avg defender.

          • LasordasLair

            It’s not archaic, its fundamental. The best defensive players in Baseball Don’t make errors. It’s a basic fact that the main part of playing good defense, and being a good defender, is not making errors. What else is there? He doesn’t make errors, and makes a ton of amazing catches. how does that make him a below avg defender? His UZR ratings have been in the top ten or 15 for right fielders over the last couple of years. If you go by UZR as any kind of measurement.

          • tqt08

            I agree that this front office probably won’t trade him because Ned is at the helm.

            You bring up injuries as an excuse but fail to realize that that hinders your argument. He’s had some injury issues lately but guess what happens when you get older? More injuries! If he’s already getting hurt now, what makes you think that more injuries won’t occur during the next 5 years?

            You sound like a big Ethier fan but you’re thinking with your heart and not your head. I like Ethier too mainly because he’s been a solid player for the Dodgers but I know when a contract is bad and his contract is pretty bad. If his value is high now then trade him before ppl realize that he’s overpaid.

          • LasordasLair

            I am a big Ethier fan so I admit I’m a bit biased ha ha, but seriously, give him a break. I mean almost every player in Baseball is overpaid. Hitting lefties is hard BTW. How about you grab a bat and go hit against Jeremy Affeldt in the 8th inning, and let’s see how well you do. (I’m just saying in general, lefties are hard to hit. I dont know you, so maybe you CAN hit lefties. ha ha, and if you can, can we please get you to spring training as an NRI?)

          • dusto

            Let me set this straight. I love Ethier! I especially love him when he is facing a righty! However, when he is going back on a ball or facing a lefty, I cringe. It’s cringeworthy. I especially don’t enjoy watching him dive, fall, or slide for a ball. He always gets up slow, and even though it might only be a few seconds, its breath that I want back.

          • LasordasLair

            I understand what your saying, you want some youth.

          • El Kapitan

            I understand you like him, & you understand he’s got plenty of faults. But if trading him made room for Josh Hamilton, with his better splits, better speed, & WAY more power, would you feel so bad about making that deal? What’s better than an outfield of Crawford/Kemp/Ethier? Crawford/Kemp/Hamilton, or Crawford/Hamilton/Kemp. But I think we can agree Victorino has no place here unless he’s #4 regardless of whatever moves we may make.

          • LasordasLair

            Well, yeah Hamilton is awsome, but we’re not getting him. The Rangers are going to make him a qualifying offer, and then if he turns it down, he becomes a free agent. Fullly agree on Victorino, he’s just awful. Our outfield is set, we’ve got bigger fish to fry

      • tqt08

        He’s not a platoon player? He’s hit a whopping .600 OPS vs lefties in the past 3 years. Read that number again and tell me that he isn’t a platoon player. That’s asinine! It’s not a big deal to you if the opposing manager brings a lefty in to face him during a key late game moment so that he can struggle against them?

        Calling him anything more than an avg defender is crazy. A gold glove doesn’t mean what it used to back in the day (Mike Trout didn’t even win one this year!). His UZR is in the negative for crying out loud! He’s made nice catches yet also misplays his fair share of balls especially when going back on the ball. Calling him an avg defender is being nice. I don’t know what “amazing catches” you are referring to but he doesn’t make enough of them to balance out his misplays.

        His career OPS is .840 which is a nice number but his OPS is at .800 in the past two years and he isn’t getting younger. He’s in his prime right now but at the back end of it. Why are we paying for the back end of his prime and his down years?

        Ethier is a productive player. I will give you that. I’m not saying he’s a bum but he isn’t worth a 5 year contract at the amount that they’re paying him. He will have a solid 2013 and a decent 2014 but it’s extreme downhill after that. We should trade him while his value is still pretty high. Thanks for the walk offs but I’m a fan who thinks with his head and not his heart

        • dusto

          Let me just say this, if they did trade him, and I don’t think they will, I wouldn’t be opposed to it right now. His value is high and we might actually get a nice return for him. He has his flaws. There are better players available for a cheaper price. Are they more popular? Probably not. Unless we sign Ichiro…

          • tqt08

            People have to realize that the contract that Ethier signed is paying him for what he did as a Dodger and not what he will do in the future. Will he be worth 85 million for the Dodgers for the next 5 years? I think not. He’ll have probably 2 more Ethier type years followed by 3 years of decline. Unless he completely goes off in the first two years then the contract isn’t worth 85 million

  • knowone1

    Only way they would consider this is if they were getting some legit pitching in return and planning on making a run at Josh Hamilton…

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