He played good soldier during the 2014 season. He has been a good Dodger. Andrew Freidman and the Dodgers brass should trade Andre Ethier and let him play for someone else.
It’s clear that Ethier is not part of the Dodgers long-term plans. Far be it from me to feel sorry for a guy making 55 million dollars over the next three years. But, the Dodgers should reward Ethier’s loyalty and trade him so he can get some playing time.
Ethier emerged from a meeting with Don Mattingly this week saying “most” of the right things. He said that he wanted to play, adding that he doesn’t foresee himself as an everyday center-fielder. He said he is best suited to be a corner outfielder. Sadly for Andre none are available……at the moment.
Phenom Joc Pederson is being given every opportunity to win the center-field job. Yasiel Puig is locked into right field (Ethier’s best position.) and the Dodgers are penciling in Carl Crawford in at left.
The problem with this scenario is that Pederson is unproven and Crawford is brittle. So, the Dodgers are hedging their bets by keeping Ethier just in case Crawford breaks down or Joc flames out. In my opinion that isn’t doing right by Ethier. I know the retort will be, “hey, the dude is making 17.5 million a year whether he plays or not, he should keep his trap shut and do what he is told.” That is nice in theory but unrealistic. Ethier is competitive. He wants to play. I don’t blame him. Plus, he has been a real good Dodger. Not only with his play on the field but his demeanor. Last year he could have thrown a fit when he was benched. Instead he took his seat on the bench and cheered for his mates. But now, the guy wants to play. The Dodgers should let him. If not for them, for someone else. The Boys in Blue already acquired their outfield insurance plan when they brought in Chris Heisey. He is a capable back-up, and I feel comfortable with Heisey and Scott Van Slyke as the reserves.
My only caveat to the “trade Ethier plan” is do not trade him to an NL West team. We are already paying a big-time former Dodger 30 million dollars to play AGAINST us. I don’t want to pay another Dodger in the same division. An American League team would be ideal. The Dodgers would have to pay a significant amount of Ethier’s salary, heck it might just be a salary dump. But, trading him accomplishes two things. It clears up the log-jam in the outfield and it shows that loyalty does have a place in this game. Ethier has been a good Dodger and if he isn’t going to play everyday in Los Angeles, I hope he gets a chance to play somewhere else.