Andre Ethier Could be Trade Bait

by kelly on October 30, 2012

Even though the Dodgers inked outfielder Andre Ethier to a five-year, $85 million deal last season, that doesn’t mean he’s going to play out the whole contract in Dodger blue. Buster Olney tweets that the team could explore dealing the two-time All Star this winter.

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We can speculate on a number of reasons why L.A. would consider trading Ethier. For one, the team’s payroll ballooned last season when they acquired Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford, and Josh Beckett. They could be looking to shed one of their more tradeable contracts to fill another need.

Another reason could be the health of center fielder Matt Kemp. He went through an injury-plagued 2012 season and it could behoove the Dodgers to move him to a corner spot in 2013. With Crawford ready to go in left field, Kemp would have to take Either’s spot in right field. Then the team could re-sign Shane Victorino to man center field and trade Ethier.

Ethier, 30, has been a consistent and productive hitter for L.A. and he hit .284 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI last season. However, the lefty hitter struggled mightily against lefty pitching last season, which could also be a reason the Dodgers are looking to deal him now.

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