With a new face at almost every position, they are now in place to begin making moves for the team on the field. Their biggest and likely toughest task comes in the outfield, where the Dodgers have five capable starters and a top prospect for only three available spots. New president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has already said that making a move would be best for the club. While Yasiel Puig is safe, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp are all available for the right price.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN, there’s one outfielder that stands out to be traded more than the others:
Some rival evaluators believe that the most likely LAD outfielder to be traded, by far, is Andre Ethier–but LAD will weigh their options.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 16, 2014
Ethier’s name has been thrown around as the likeliest candidate for a while now, even before a season in which he hit just .249 with four home runs. As the year progressed, the left-handed hitting Ethier became nothing more than a bench player that made an occasional start. He was essentially the fifth outfielder as Scott Van Slyke made starts against left-handed pitching.
Since 2006, Ethier has been a mainstay in the Dodgers’ outfield, but his numbers have significantly dropped in the past three years. He no longer shows the power at the plate he once had, and although he has become more versatile in the outfield, he no longer would be a starter in Los Angeles. While they may decide to trade him, it’s easier said than done. The Dodgers would have to eat a significant amount of the approximately $17 million he’s owed or take on another bad contract from the other team.
In the coming months, a deal will be made and hearing Ethier’s name wouldn’t be a surprise.