Abraham Almonte suspension could lead to Andre Ethier trade

It seems like every year we hear rumor after rumor about the Dodgers attempting to trade Andre Ethier. First, it was because of the overcrowded outfield. Then, it was because Ethier made a comment about how he wanted to be a starter, whether or not it was in Los Angeles. This year, it is because Ethier’s 10-5 rights are about to vest, making him virtually untradeable.

Each and every year, however, the same thing happens: The rumors slowly fade away, Spring Training rolls around and Ethier stays in Dodger Blue. It appears this year is no different.

Or is it?

ICYMI: Ethier Talks About Trade Rumors, 10 And 5 Clause


News out of Cleveland could have serious implications for the Dodgers and Andre Ethier. Major League Baseball announced that Indians center fielder Abraham Almonte was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Boldenone. With All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley likely starting the season on the disabled list, the Indians have been trying to figure out how they will fill the hole left in the outfield.

The Indians were likely looking at 26-year-old Almonte to step up as that guy. Almonte only played in 51 games for the Indians after he was acquired at the deadline last season, but they had high hopes that he was going to be a major contributor. Instead, the Indians  are two men down in the outfield for at least the first few months of the season, presumably leaving them scrambling.

If the season were to start today, the Indians starting outfield would consist of Rajai Davis, Collin Cowgill, and Lonnie Chisenhall. The trio had a combined batting average of .230 last season with a total of 16 home runs. Brantley hit 15 home runs by himself. Needless to say, the Indians will be in the market for outfield help in the coming weeks or even days. After a comeback season last year, the Indians could attempt to acquire Andre Ethier to fill the void left by the two missing Indians outfielders. With 14 home runs last season, Ethier would bring some much needed power to the outfield as well as a veteran presence.

Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports
Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports

What makes this trade seem even more possible is the fact that Alex Guerrero also seems to be a good fit in Cleveland and the Dodgers have not been shy about wanting to move him. The starting third baseman for the Indians at this point is likely Giovanny Urshela. In 267 at bats last season, Urshela had a slash line of only .225/.279/.330 with 6 home runs and 8 doubles. Additionally, the Indians current backup at third base would be Jose Ramirez, who has never hit more than 6 home runs in a season and had only a .219 batting average in 2015. Although Guerrero’s numbers from last season aren’t significantly better, he would give the Indians another option at third base as well as other infield positions, and he could possibly even earn his way into a starting outfield position considering their current circumstances. Guerrero and Ethier together could be an attractive package for the Indians, giving them just what they need to stay afloat while Brantley and Almonte work towards returning.

Who the Dodgers would get in return is hard to say. The Dodgers appear to be set at every position at the moment and have a solid 1-7 in the rotation. However, you can never have too many arms (proven by the fact that the Dodgers used 18 different starting pitchers in 2015) and the bullpen could always use improvement. Add to that Hyun-Jin Ryu might not return until May at least, and there a need for another arm might become all the clearer.

The Indians have a number of solid relievers in Bryan Shaw, Jeff Manship, Zach McAllister, Kyle Crockett, and Austin Adams that they may be willing to part with. Starting pitchers like Trevor Bauer and Cody Anderson also stick out as potential trade targets as either pitcher would add depth to the rotation while bringing in a much needed right hander. The Indians also have two prospects in the top 100 prospect rankings, Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier, both coming in just past #25 on the list. The Dodgers have made it clear that they value prospects almost as much as MLB ready talent and adding either one of them would give the Dodgers 6 players on the top 100 prospect list.

There’s no way to know if a move is actually coming and nothing has been reported thus far. Part of whether or not the Indians make a move has to do with expectations on the club next season, too, which might not be all that high. Basically, why give up assets to get a stop-gap outfielder or two if  the team might not be competitive in the first place?

Cleveland will have to weigh their options, but on the surface, the teams seem at the very least a decent match to make a deal work.

NEXT: Gonzalez Missing Workout With Lingering Issue

Chris Wolf

Chris was born in raised in Southern California where he attended CSULB. As a lifelong fan, Chris has strong opinions about all things Dodgers. He lives in the Bay Area, but proudly wears his Dodger Blue whenever he can. He is also the founder and editor of Dodgers Chatter.


  1. Highly, highly doubt the Dodgers could get either Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer for either or both of Ethier and Guerrero.  Given that both players are the Indians #1 and #2 prospects, I really don’t see the Indians parting with either one for Ethier or Guerrero.  It’s more likely that the Dodgers would net a middle-reliever and one mid-tier prospect for Ethier, and for Guerrero a single reliever or a mid-tier prospect + lower-tier prospect.  That seems most likely to me.  Now, if the Dodgers eat A LOT of salary for Ethier, maybe they could net one of Frazier or Zimmer, but it still seems like an extreme outside chance.

  2. I am so sick and freaking tired of Ethier trade rumors, especially how he saved the Dodger’s bacon last year when he played RF in Puig’s absence  For the last time I don’t care if they have to eat most of Crawford’s $$$ he is the one to trade or just get rid of.  I am sick of having a gimpy legged CC on this roster blocking someone else and wasting a valuable roster spot..

  3. yarritsblake  Clint Frazier or Bradley Zimmer are not coming for Andre Ethier and/or Alex Guerrero.  Those two are in the Kluber, Carrasco, Salazar, and Lindor category…do not bother asking.  The relievers are not special and are no real improvement over what the Dodgers currently have.  Cody Allen, their closer is not going to go anywhere, and the other two late inning relievers McCallister and Shaw are not shut down relievers.  Too many hits/BB/HR.  McCallister makes up for part because of his Ks.  He would appear to be an older Yimi Garcia without the full potential. 

    The Dodgers would be negotiating from a position of strength because the Indians need the help, but the Indians do not have (or will not trade) what the Dodgers need; a true legit #2 SP or a lock down 8th inning reliever (Wade Davis or Andrew Miller type).  So why not go after a couple of lesser prospects, but still good enough that they could make a difference some day at the ML level; 3B Yandy Diaz, and RHP Tristan McKenzie. McKenzie is an 18 year old RHP who is probably in the NO category, but it is at least a good place to start.  Diaz is a high contact, high OBP, athletic 3B.  The Dodgers do need a potential 3B if Turner decides he wants to try FA for that one and last big contract potential.

    The Indians are in a position to win this year with their SP and Lindor.  They really need to take advantage of their SP strength, so they should be willing to work with LAD. But if the Dodgers have to pay, I would rather keep Ethier and package CC.  He should at least be able to play 80 games before Almonte makes it back or even make it until Saunders gets back. At least the Dodgers will be negotiating from a position of strength.

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