The Los Angeles Dodgers plan to trade at least one of their outfielders this winter in order to relieve the crowd fighting for three spots.
Yasiel Puig will stay, while the others are available for the right deal. It was reported that Andre Ethier would be the most likely to be dealt; however, that may prove difficult as he is owed a significant amount of money and is coming off his worst season in Los Angeles.
In an interview with David Vassegh of AM 570 Radio, Ethier shared his plans for the 2015 season:
I’ve set up in my head and in my mind that all my desires to come back here and start next year. This is my first preference. We tried the way of platooning and doing all that stuff and obviously it didn’t make us any more successful than it did any other times in the past so I want to be playing every day and be in the lineup every day and figure out a way to contribute. It’s up to them to make the decisions going on forward. I’ve made my decision to come in and play the best that I can this next year and be a starter doing it.”
Ethier began the year in a five-man rotation with Puig, Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp and Scott Van Slyke, but ultimately became the odd man out. He was relegated to pinch-hitting duties and an occasional start, although he did start Game 4 of the NLDS in favor of Puig in a shocking move by manager Don Mattingly. The 32-year-old Ethier hit just .249 with four home runs and 42 RBIs in 130 games this past season. The career .285 hitter has regressed the past three seasons and is still due over $50 million the next three seasons.
The former All-Star also discussed dealing with all the trade rumors this offseason:
Definitely an unwanted circumstance but it’s one where you just gotta keep showing up and playing every year. Sometimes in the past people have said that was led to drive me some more and maybe i need to dig down deep and let that drive me even more now and go out there and perform. I know what I’m capable of doing and if i’m given the opportunity and it’s one where you’re just searching for it. Sometimes you can’t expect people to give it to you, you gotta go out there and earn it and take that opportunity yourself so like i said I’m preparing that way and going for that this offseason.
Ethier may be an everyday player in 2015, it just may not be with the Dodgers.