A look back at Andre Ethier’s career is a beautiful portrait. Ethier played his entire twelve-year career in one uniform: Dodger blue. He was twice an all-star, won a Rawlings Gold Glove, and a Louisville Silver Slugger award. His lifetime numbers of .285/.359/.463 are a great glimpse at what peak Ethier was like in the golden years. Obviously and sadly, that player is not likely to return. But there’s a good possibility that Ethier could still provide a team with several valuable baseball intangibles.
Ethier told MLB Network Radio on Sunday that he still has the desire to play.
Free agent outfielder Andre Ethier just wants to "help a team win and not just give up and walk away," in 2018 pic.twitter.com/GOzaI0JZbs
— MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (@MLBNetworkRadio) February 25, 2018
To read this came as a bit of a surprise.
The Dodgers declined Ethier’s option in November of 2017, shortly after the conclusion of the World Series. There was little fanfare, no press conference and no sentimental quotes echoing out of the front office about his long tenure as a Dodger.
When I saw this moment unfold, I felt like it was going to end up a neat final memory of Ethier as not only a ballplayer; but as a Dodger.
October 17th, 2017: NLCS Game Three
The Dodgers of course went on to win that game 6-1. Ethier had provided a huge shot in the arm for a team scraping to find offense in the absence of Corey Seager.
He wasn’t completely finished at that point. Ethier went 2-for-5 in the World Series, driving in a run with a pinch-hit single in game seven of the World Series. That run would end up being the last one the Dodgers scored in 2017. Again I thought to myself how beautifully ironic it was that Ethier’s last moment as a pro was an RBI single in the World Series. It meant a lot to me that he was still battling, despite a seemingly decided outcome.
It appears that Ethier has his own script about any storybook final chapter that we have written for him. And it’s hard to fault the guy. He’s still never won a championship, and he will be 36 years of age. This is an age where many players have still found a way to carve out several productive years as a veteran presence on a club despite no longer being the focal point. Carlos Beltran and David Ross come to mind on the last two teams who have won championships.
This is the time of year where everything remains fluid. If several injuries happen and Ethier is willing to play for a bargained free agent salary, he could find himself in another uniform quickly. His comments bring to light some interesting questions on the topic.
Would you like to see the Dodgers bring Ethier back if the need is there an unforeseen reason? What kind of value could he bring to a contending club? Is he a better fit for a younger team in a rebuild?
Maybe the biggest question is the one that is nearest to many of our hearts. Do you believe we have seen the last of Andre Ethier in the major leagues?
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