For the last two years, the name Andre Ethier has come up in the summer during the trade deadline and in the winter during the owner’s meetings. During those two periods sports journalists “report” that Ethier is going to be traded by the Los Angeles Dodgers. They usually use the phrase “sources say” so they sound like they actually know what they are talking about. But after the ice melts in December and the fireworks pop in July, Ethier still has donned Dodger Blue.
This year could be different, and maybe it is time the Dodgers make a move and send Ethier on his way. Eventually the Dodgers are going to have to make room for rising star Yasiel Puig, who was outstanding in spring training and has been a force in the minor leagues this season. Outfielders Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp are locked up until 2019. They won’t trade those two players, which means Ethier becomes the odd man out in the outfield.
Some scouts say the kid from Cuba (Puig) is not ready for the Big Leagues yet. Well, if that’s the case the Dodgers could still plug in Scott Van Slyke to play right field if they ship Ethier somewhere else. Van Slyke has improved dramatically since last season and could slide right in if needed.
Ethier would be wanted somewhere, and he could also give the Dodgers a nice return. A third baseman prospect is most likely the best idea. The Texas Rangers have a young stud named Mike Olt and could use a bat like Ethier’s to bolster an outfield that has an inconsistent Nelson Cruz and two poor hitters in David Murphy and Leonys Martin. Ethier would also fit nicely in the New York Mets’ lineup or with the Philadelphia Phillies. Also, don’t count out an inter-divisional trade with the San Diego Padres that involves 2014 free agent Chase Headley.
Ethier has been a fan favorite in Chavez Ravine ever since the Dodgers traded for him in 2006, but he has never been great against left-handed pitchers and he has a history of clashing with Dodgers management and teammates. Maybe it’s time for a change of scenery. It could be good for both parties.