Andre Ethier’s immense start to the 2012 season has morphed into a huge contract, as the Dodgers are reportedly serious enough about keeping the soon-to-be free agent in Los Angeles through 2018 with an $85 million contract extension.
The 5-year deal also includes a vesting option that could bring the overall value to over $100 million, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Apart from last year’s injury-plagued season, the 30-year-old outfielder has been a consistent hitter throughout his career, finishing with OPSs between .802 and .885. He’s at .871 this year with a slash line of .292/.353/.518. He has hit 10 homers and driven in 53 runs in 61 games this year.
However, his defense is average at best, and considering his age, can the Dodgers really expect his numbers to go up? Or is it more likely Ethier’s best seasons are behind him.
One has to wonder if the clubs decision to extend its association with Ethier is a good move, considering his production may decline over the life of his contract.
The deal would also put the Dodgers payroll in 2013 at north of $120 million, which doesn’t include a whole lot of wiggle room for making a big addition or two this winter. Especially, at first base or left field. Two spots the team could use some depth.
In my opinion, the Dodgers probably won’t end up getting much bang for their buck here. But then again I don’t write the checks either.