Dodgers’ Ethier dealing with trade talk again

first_imgThe Dodgers would almost certainly have to absorb some of the remaining money ($53.5 million is guaranteed) in Ethier’s contract if he is traded. Ethier said he has not asked to be traded, but the rumors will persist.“Maybe I need to dig down deep to let that drive me even more to perform,” Ethier said. “I know what I’m capable of doing if I’m given the opportunity. You can’t expect people to give it to you. You’ve got to go out and earn it.” In 2014, the third year of a six-year, $96-million contract, Ethier lost his starting job. He made only 380 plate appearances, a career low. He played all three outfield positions and even a little first base while making a team-high 40 appearances as a pinch hitter, slashing .290/.450/.355.On paper, there is no reason for Ethier not to reprise this role with the Dodgers in 2015. He’s got more defensive flexibility than Carl Crawford, Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Scott Van Slyke or Joc Pederson — and arguably less trade value. The numbers say that Ethier adapted to pinch hitting quickly.The only problem?“I want to be playing every day,” Ethier said.The Dodgers might grant that request, but it seems more likely to happen if Ethier is traded. So far, Kemp has drawn the most trade interest from other general managers. Andrew Friedman has enough depth in-house that he can trade two outfielders and enough money to absorb a portion of both contracts. One year and 12 days ago, Andre Ethier stood in a fourth-floor room at the Union Rescue Mission in downtown Los Angeles. The room lacked polish and some wondered whether Ethier would still be a Dodger by the time his $75,000 investment had come to fruition.Thursday, the room looked finished. Two rows of flat-panel computers now fill the Maggie and Andre Ethier Learning Center, where homeless men, women and children can stop in for a free education. The flooring and lighting were donated by the Dodgers. In some ways, it resembles many rooms inside Dodger Stadium.It’s a new day for the Union Rescue Mission and a new offseason for the Dodgers, but the questions facing Ethier are the same as last year. Specifically, how does he feel about the prospect of splitting time in a crowded outfield — potentially six deep now — for the second straight season?“All my desire is to come back here and start next year,” Ethier said. “This is my first preference. We tried the way of platooning, all that stuff, and obviously it didn’t make us any more successful than it did any other times in the past.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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