Andre Ethier is Now Eminently Available

All winter, there were rumors that the Dodgers were open to trading Andre Ethier. All winter, the Dodgers declared that there was nothing to those rumors, and that they weren’t having second thoughts about the five year, $85 million contract they gave him last June. When spring training rolled around and Cuban import Yasiel Puig became The Hot New Thing, those rumors picked up again, since the Dodgers will need to open up a corner outfield spot for Puig at some point in the not too distant future.

But, LA remained patient and optioned the 22-year-old Puig to Double-A, giving him some experience against professional pitchers without throwing him immediately into the fire. They also gave Ethier a chance to play most everyday, and while they were unlikely to admit it publicly, they likely hoped that he could get off to a strong enough start to re-establish some trade value after his power fell off in the second half last year.

Today, though, manager-of-the-moment Don Mattingly sent a pretty clear signal that he is not Andre Ethier’s biggest fan, and you can probably start the clocking ticking on both of their exits from Dodger Land.

Manager Don Mattingly benched Andre Ethier for the Dodgers’ series finale at Miller Park on Wednesday, saying he did so because he wanted to field a lineup “that’s going to fight and compete the whole day.”

This will be the third time Ethier is out of the lineup on this six-game trip. The Dodgers are off on Thursday.

Asked if he was trying to send a message to Ethier, Mattingly replied, “We’re last place in the National League West. Last year, at this point, we’re playing a lineup that basically has nobody in it that fights and competes and battles you every day for every inch of the field. We talk about it as an organization. We’ve got to find the club with talent that will fight and compete like the club that doesn’t have that talent. If there’s going to be a message sent, it’s going to be over a period of time.”

Mattingly wouldn’t say if Ethier is now a part-time player.

“For me, today, I’m putting out my lineup that I feel is going to be the most competitive and going to compete the hardest,” he said.

Asked if Ethier is no longer a player he automatically writes into the lineup every day, Mattingly said, “Well, he wasn’t today.”

Does Mattingly think Ethier won’t fight?

“I can’t really say that,” he said. “I don’t really want to say that, but we’ve got to compete.”

Scott Van Slyke drew the start over Ethier today, even though a right-handed pitcher is on the mound. Ethier has traditionally gotten his days off against left-handers, as he has struggled against southpaws in his career. This is clearly not a match-up decision, though. Mattingly has basically told the world that he doesn’t think his best line-up against right-handed pitching involves his $85 million left-handed hitting right fielder.

Mattingly doesn’t seem long for this job, with his comments today likely being the final icing on the cake, and most national columnists see him taking the fall for the Dodgers struggles sooner than later. It is possible that Mattingly’s replacement will restore Ethier to the starting line-up. More likely, I think, is that both of them are soon shown the door.

If there’s one thing the Dodgers clearly don’t have any shortage of, it’s money. As challenging as moving Ethier’s contract might seem — he’s hit just .270/.346/.415 over the last calendar year, spanning 619 plate appearances, so this is no longer just a slump — the Dodgers have the financial capability to eat a significant chunk of his contract in order to move him and create a spot in the line-up for Puig. And while Ethier is certainly not worth his full salary, it’s not so far removed from the realm of reason that he couldn’t possibly be traded.

Even over those last 365 days where Ethier has demonstrated marginal power, he’s still put up a 111 wRC+, and both ZIPS and Steamer forecast him to hit at about that level for the rest of the season. Disappointing Andre Ethier is still roughly an average player, maybe even a tick above for this year, though he’s on the wrong side of 30 and will probably be below average before too long.

Given all the money in baseball right now, solid average veterans go for about $10 million per year in free agency. Over the winter, Torii Hunter got 2/26, Adam LaRoche got 2/24, and Ryan Ludwick got 2/15. Ethier fits in pretty well with those guys, though he’s a little younger and has a slightly better track record than the latter two, so his market value might be closer to the high end of that AAV range. Nick Swisher, a better version of the same kind of player, got 4/56 over the winter. Ethier’s not worth that, but he might have gotten something not too different from Swisher’s deal had the Dodgers let him hit the open market this winter.

Spitballing it, I’d say Ethier’s probably “worth” something like 3/36. That means he’s paid something close to fair salary this year ($13.5 million), will be overpaid by a few million next year ($15.5 million), and then starts to be significantly overpaid starting in 2015 ($18 million). The last couple of years ($36.5 million, including the inevitable buyout of the sixth year option) are a total albatross, as Ethier probably won’t even be worth starting at that point in his career, so he’ll either be the world’s most expensive pinch hitter or will be paid a lot of money to do something besides play baseball. But, if the Dodgers offered to just completely cover years four and five, plus pay the buyout on year six, I would imagine they could drum up some interest in Ethier.

At that point, accounting for what has already been paid out in 2013, other teams would be on the hook for $43 million over the next three years, and now the deal is close enough to fair market value that it only takes the Dodgers accepting a mid-level 2013 salary in return to make it an easy swap.

The Royals could offer to swap Jeff Francoeur for Ethier in a one-for-one deal, injecting some life into their offense by replacing their biggest offensive hole. The Mariners could offer up Franklin Gutierrez, who has been displaced in center field by players not made of glass. Or maybe the Rangers would take the first few years of Ethier’s deal in order to move David Murphy back into a fourth outfielder role, using some of the money they didn’t spend over the winter in order to add one more bat to make a World Series run.

The Ethier extension was an overpay the instant it was signed, but the Dodgers financial resources give them the chance to show just how sunk costs work. They’re not getting a good return on that investment, but they have the ability to pay Ethier to play for another team in a few years, and I wouldn’t be too surprised if they took it. Given that there aren’t likely to be too many decent hitters on the market this summer, Ethier might appeal to a few franchises as long the Dodgers agree to cover the last couple years of the contract.

Changes are coming in LA. The manager is almost certainly on the way, and he might have just helped take his unwanted right fielder with him.




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Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.

129 Responses to “Andre Ethier is Now Eminently Available”

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  1. D4P says:

    I’ve always considered Ethier to be a DH who should only face righties, but I find it curious that Mattingly would consider Ethier to be a bigger problem this year than Matt Kemp. In addition to Kemp’s struggles at the plate, he is also dead last in the MLB in Fielding Value, by a very large margin.

    I’ll never understand why baseball people think Matt Kemp can play centerfield.

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    • JohnM says:

      Ethier’s actually improved his fielding and is an average RF at this point, I think it’s a tad early to start calling him a DH. Kemp had shoulder surgery this offseason and wasn’t able to swing a bat until February, I fully expect him to recover his power as he build’s his strength back up. Yeah Kemp needs to move out of CF though I agree.

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    • Crying Freeway says:

      Kemp, Ethier, and Kershaw are considered homegrown, even if it’s not 100% true (in Ethier’s case). Los Angeles isn’t as narcissistic as San Francisco or Boston, but it does have some investment in personal image/marketing of players. Kemp is a homegrown MVP, Kershaw is a homegrown CYA pitcher. Kemp’s going to have a longer rope (a tenth of his contract) than Ethier. Although if Kemp continues to play poorly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds himself on the trading block someday, too.

      Kershaw is pretty much untouchable, with the Dodger tradition of dominant LHP’s and Kershaw’s already gaudy accomplishments. We like to pretend Kemp won the MVP in 2011, but it didn’t actually happen.

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      • Raised eye-brow says:

        “Los Angeles isn’t as narcissistic as San Francisco or Boston.”

        In regards to added value to homegrown baseball players, you may have a case, but as a general statement…no.

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        • baycommuter says:

          All three cities are pretty narcissistic, as are Washington, New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas … Kansas City, Milwaukee, Cincy, Oakland or St. Louis, no.

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        • Synovia says:

          Way to insult atleast 20M people in one go.

          What tasteless drivel.

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    • craig hill says:

      Kemp is seen by all observers, which is to say those who actually observe, as trying to improve, and succeeding, after his surgery, while Ethier is seen consistently by managment for years as a guy who tries hard about once every two weeks.

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    • Tim A says:

      I think its especially weird he’s so anti Ethier, when he was hitting .358 over the last 15 and is the #4 player WAR wise on the Dodgers. Andre is hitting .270ish I don’t know what the big deal is.

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      • Tim A says:

        Wait thats OBP, but still the numbers aren’t bad, and he has been slightly positive on fielding too boot.

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  2. Naveed says:

    Correction: Francoeur, not Francouer.

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  3. attgig says:

    how about the Astros or Mets who both desperately need outfielders… i know that they don’t want to take more payroll, but if the Dodgers are subsidizing….

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    • BX says:

      Andre Ethier will be declining and essentially a platoon DH by the time the Astros or Mets are good.

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    • za says:

      I don’t see him going to the Mets, who seem to have a third of the lefty-hitting platoon players in baseball. With their (most-likely) protected pick in next year’s Rule 4 draft, it’s more likely that they push hard for Shin Soo Choo, a better player.

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      • Evan says:

        A better hitter maybe, but Choo is god awful in center and fielding in general. They got Ankiel for his defense so I don’t see them going after Choo since he would cause the same problem they had before.

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    • craig hill says:

      I like Andre going to the Astros for like 8 of their best prospects, except Houston would trade him to AZ, where Ethier hits like Justin Upton does in ATL. If he’s traded, he’d have to go where that team wanted him long-term.

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  4. Houjazi Cockburn says:

    I’ve been saying for two years they need to get rid of Ethier. He is one of the most overrated players in the game and the fact that he ever won a gold glove baffles the mind. Remember, Ethier has had attitude problems in the past and it looked like he might be shown the door a couple of years back. That extension was the worst idea, but then again, Ned “Secret Agent for the Giants” Coletti is the GM. Let’s add this to Juan Uribe, Jason Schmidt pile of bad transactions and move on. I thought it would have been a better move to trade him for some pitching help this past offseason and then go after a mid-tier free agent like Victorino or even make a run at Hamilton (which in retrospect, glad they didn’t). Now here we are and the prospect of getting any value back looks slim.

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    • bawfuls says:

      Victorino, seriously? That would have been so much worse.

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      • Houjazi Cockburn says:

        Victorino is hitting .283 for the Red Sox and at least he can cover some ground in the outfield. Plus they could have gotten him on a shorter, less expensive deal.

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      • za says:

        Victorino and his contract are waaay better than Ethier.

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        • Synovia says:

          Victorino has a 39M contract, and if he continues to play like hes playing right now, he’ll have produced more than $20M of value in the first year.

          His contract is fantastic.

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      • Joebrady says:

        As a RS fan, I figured Vic was overpaid about $1M a year. I’m not crazy about 3 years, but that is the market. Vic will probably have about the same WAR/$ as Ethier over the next 3 years, and then years 4 & 5 will kill you.

        Or put another way-to trade Ethier, you probably have to eat about the same amount of salary as Victorino’s entire contract.

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    • Perry says:

      I am going to disagree with the premise that they should have traded him for pitching in the offseason. Prior to the start of 2013, the Dodgers had 8 SP already signed. It’s only now that 3 of them are on the DL and Harang is pitching in Seattle that it would have made sense to go get more pitching. That wasn’t the issue prior to the year, it was all the punchless utility bats and thinking that Luis Cruz could actually play 3rd and contribute.

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      • Jason B says:

        I agree with Champ Kind. Pitching was an area of extreme depth coming into the season; and while you can never have too much pitching, it would have made more sense to address the black hole that is third base.

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    • craig hill says:

      LOLOL! LA just GOT RID of Vicky! He stunk!

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    • Geoff says:

      Are you forgetting that the Dodgers already had Victorino and they let him walk because he was terrible?

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  5. JA311 says:

    As a Mets fan, I am definitely interested in Ethier if the Dodgers took on the financial obligations outlined in the article.

    He’s better than the crap that is trotted out on a nightly basis.

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    • Joebrady says:

      Your two highest paid outfielders right now are Bay and Bonilla. I sense that Ethier would fit right in with that trend.

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    • Wobatus says:

      Marlon Byrd’s been worth .9 war already this year. I don’t expect that to keep up but he’s cheaper and i don’t think the Mets should take on even a slightly subsidized Ethier.

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      • craig hill says:

        We already went thru Marlon. And we don’t need a downgrade in the OF when we have 3 farmhand upgrades ready to roam it.

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    • za says:

      Not at all. I’m okay with sucking this year and signing Shin Soo Choo for similar cash money. No need to give anyone up for Ethier.

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  6. Incitatus says:

    Holy cow. Ethier plus mad cash for Francoeur? How have the mighty fallen?

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    • Joebrady says:

      If history is indicator, then about two good months will have Colletti looking to extend Fancoeur.

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      • rbt says:

        It worked for Frenchy in KC, although, in fairness to Dayton Moore, it was a good season, not just a good two months. And we know Frenchy always excels for the first couple of months in new scenery.

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    • craig hill says:

      Get a grip. Francoeur is Dave’s fantasy, not LA’s.

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  7. rageous says:

    How about a Ethier for Hamilton trade?

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    • Joebrady says:

      Interesting thought. Hamilton is probably worth $17M per, and Ethier maybe $9-10 per. So Hamilton sells for a loss of $32M and Ethier sells for a loss of ~ $40M. As bad as Hamilton is, I think I prefer him. One extra year of Ethier hurts more than Hamilton just being overrated.

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    • chuckb says:

      It’s not a terrible idea but it would require the Angels to admit the Hamilton signing was a mistake — something I doubt they’re ready to do just yet.

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    • craig hill says:

      LA didn’t want Hamilton before they spent their last $200 million. They’ve got 3 excellent young OFs looking for a position. They don’t need this sullen, recidivist druggie/drunk.

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  8. sanchez101 says:

    It’s poetic that you offered Franklin Gutierrez. Gutierrez started as a Dodger prospect (more of a toolsy, power hitting, RF type). Paul DePodesta traded him, almost immediately upon becoming GM, to Cleveland for Milton Bradley. Two years (several injuries and one thrown bottle at a fan) later, Colletti traded Milton Bradley and IF Antonio Perez (IIRC) to Oakland for … OF prospect Andre Ethier. It all comes full circle.

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  9. Joebrady says:

    It amazes me when GMs come to regret a deal so soon after they made it. There is nothing that we know now, that we didn’t know then. A mediocre RF, that can’t hit lefties. That still has value, but is not unique. My RS seem to churn these types out regularly (Murphy, Moss, Reddick, Nava, to varying degrees).

    IRT to the trade value, even with LA assuming the last two years, it is still a $47M/5 contract. If he were a FA today, would anyone pay him $47M/5? At best, I’d call him a $27M/3 as part of a platoon, then maybe add another $10M/2, for a total of $37M/5. The only GMs that would offer him $47M/5 both work in LA.

    IRT the Murphy idea, I thought Murphy was Ethier. I’m not quite sure why the Rangers would want to trade a reasonably cheap LH RF platoon player for a very expensive LH RF platoon player.

    How does Colletti keep his job?

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    • Bob M says:

      How does Colletti keep his job? The same way all bad GMs keep their jobs. Organizational inertia.

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      • Richie says:

        Colletti kept his job last year by making the Bold Trade. Showed he had vision, or really really wanted to win, or whatever it is that ownership groups with Belieber-like love for tomorrow’s headlines so value.

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    • Atreyu Jones says:

      That’s also what I don’t understand. Why did they sign that extension if their evaluation of him was so temporary?

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      • TiensyGohan says:

        You may not believe this if you don’t follow the Dodgers closely, but almost everyone in the Dodgers part of the world loved the deal when it was done. Back then the Ethier extension was seen as a move made by the new ownership as a gift to the fans. There are people who really do think Ethier is a good player.

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  10. Bronnt says:

    Hope someone pounces on Mattingly, I think he’s actually a good manager. Just tough to say that, with injuries to Greinke, Lilly, Billingsley, Ramirez, Hairston, and Mark Ellis, plus Matt Kemp playing through an injury, that he’s responsible for the poor results from this team. He’s stuck with Luis Cruz, Juan Uribe, and Dee Gordon as the left side of his infield. It’s pretty sad for a team with that much money to feel relieved that Mark Ellis is finally able to come back and take over second base so you can send Nick Punto to play third…

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    • Richie says:

      Why do you think he’s good? The Yankees surely didn’t think so, else he’d be there.

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      • Jason B says:

        I think “good” is really hard to discern, managerially, so we fall back on either (a) W-L, or (b) likeable. Donnie Baseball is generally well regarded in category (b), I believe.

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      • Jon L. says:

        Not true. “Good” and “better than the incumbent Joe Girardi” are not the same thing.

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    • Crying Freeway says:

      Mattingly was an excellent player and he’s a people person, so he’s managed to get along with with his team, but he is poor at the tactical aspect of the game. The best managers in baseball (Bochy, Maddon, LaRussa) are good at both. Orel Hershiser fits the mold of a good tactician with a solid resume to command respect. He should have been named manager after Torre left, and likely he’ll get the call when Mattingly is ousted.

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    • za says:

      The Mets’ll take ‘im.

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    • TiensyGohan says:

      I hope the Giants get him.

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    • craig hill says:

      EVERY manager in the NL West runs circles around Mattingly. He is completely dismissed as a strategically good manager by every commentator who’s opined on the subject of his stinking decisionmaking. In a nutshell, Mattingly is lazy, sticking to a very old-fashioned Book and refusing to think outside it. Trust me, no other team in baseball is looking for Mattingly to coach their winter league team, let alone their big club.

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  11. bawfuls says:

    I really don’t understand why Donnie is shitting all over Ethier right now. He’s been OK this year, not fantastic but not terrible either. He’s one of several players with a slow start. And he’s certainly not the biggest under-performer on the team. And the comments about fighting/competing/fire or whatever? Just two days ago Ethier got pissed at an umpire, thrown out of a game, and gave him a stare-down: http://www.mlbgifs.com/2013/05/andre-ethier-gives-home-plate-umpire-the-death-stare-from-hell/ Isn’t that an acceptable anecdote of “wants to compete/proves he cares” these days?

    Or is this all some desperation play by Mattingly to act like he’s doing something to try and save his job?

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    • Richie says:

      I’m curious as to this, too. Just what has Ethier done (or failed to do) of late?

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      • Wobatus says:

        Last calendar year he’s still been worth 2.2 WAR.

        I don’t think it’s a bad idea to start Van Slyke against lefties, or even give him the odd at-bats against righties, day game after night game, that kind of thing, but to call him out seems silly. It’s like with Valentine and Youkilis last year. Although Youk was banged up a bit. Mattingly just doesn’t seem to like Ethier. Musta not hustled after a ball in the filed or run out a grounder hard enough.

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      • Jason B says:

        “Just what has Ethier done (or failed to do) of late?”

        I think just as managers are often the fall guy for an underperforming team, or one that had high expectations coming into the season, so too do managers seek out a fall guy for the very same problem. Probably easier to pick on Ethier than a presumed long-term “face of the franchise” type like Kemp was thought to be, even though he too has been hit with charges of ‘not playing hard enough’, ‘not caring enough’, ‘too lackadasical’, etc. in the past (pre-huge contract extension, and in the previous managerial regime).

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        • Jason B says:

          But that said, you would think folks would learn a lesson from shitting all over a guy while they’re trying to trade him. Did they learn nothing from the Justin Upton situation? “Gee let’s bad-mouth this guy constantly and then trade him for 75 cents on the dollar! Then we can watch him blossom on a new team!”

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    • supershredder says:

      To be fair Mattingly never explicitly crapped on Ethier. That was all inferred by the interviewer.

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      • Jason B says:

        Agree w/ cs3, it was pretty easy to infer what Mattingly was driving at, particularly given his actions (benching Ethier three times in six games).

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      • craig hill says:

        To be realistic, when you shoot your mouth off, hell, projectile crap in general, and then keep Ethier out of the game against possibly the worst righty in baseball, you have it in for Ethier.

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    • cs3 says:

      I think its obvious that Mattingly perceives a lack of effort from Ethier. And who knows what goes on in the clubhouse. Could very easily be as much about his attitude as his (lack of) production.

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  12. Richie says:

    Mattingly is awful, Ned is awful. But goodness gracious is this Dodger ownership group awful, deciding to retain Ned and cheering him along every awful step of the way. Minus the venality, I think they’re actually worse than the last guy. Granting that’s one huge honkin’ hellacious “minus”.

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    • don;t forget Stan Kasten is running the team and he has a pretty damn good track record in ATL and Washington. The new owners are just over a year into their investment.

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      • TiensyGohan says:

        Over a year in, and we have Colletti, Ethier, League, Crawford, Beckett, and Powerless Gonzalez on long-term deals. Too bad you can’t fire the owners unless they are bankrupt and steal from the team.

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        • BearHunter90 says:

          These owners have done way more good then bad for the present of the Dodgers and the future. If you are going to complain about these owners you are just greedy and will never like any owner. Since it could be so much worse. Complain about Ned all you want, but the owners have been nothing short of awesome.

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  13. algionfriddo says:

    As a Mariner fan I’d favor a trade… Ethier & cash plus Mattingly for Gutierrez & Wedge.

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  14. Pat says:

    This team is pathetic, I should have bet all my money on them not making the playoffs this season. Just randomly spending money with no sort of plan. Everyone who had any sort of baseball IQ knew the Ethier deal was stupid from the moment they signed it.

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  15. Bory says:

    Assuming Mattingly does get the boot, how long until Colleti gets canned too?

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  16. rollingStone says:

    Why would the Rangers want to move Murphy back to a fourth outfielder role? He had a horrid March and April, but he has a .294/.351/.529 line for May, and had a good season last year. If there’s a hole in his offensive approach, it’s that he’s struggled against lefties, but Ethier has the same problem.

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  17. jorden says:

    Ethier + cash is a great deal for many teams. With all the injuries to Dodgers and the fact that Puig isn’t ready, dealing him now for nothing would be stupid.

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    • za says:

      I do think Scott Van Slyke could put up fairly comparable numbers to Ethier over the course of the year for a lot cheaper. Also, is it just me or did he (Scott) lose a shit ton of weight since last season?

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  18. DowntownChico says:

    Ethier is an elite platoon player waiting to happen. And he’s on the higher quantity ABs side of the platoon.

    Career wRC+ of 141 against RHP.
    Career wRC+ of 77 against LHP.

    I’d rather have a wRC+ of 141 platoon player who costs 2x too much, than dump half his salary and have nothing to show for it.

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  19. rbt says:

    Ethier for Francoeur….hmmmm. Actually, wouldn’t they be good platoon partners for each other? Ethier can’t hit lefties, Frenchy can’t hit righties. That doesn’t solve the problem for either team, though.

    If the Dodgers really want Frenchy, they may not have to wait long until they can get him for free, because I think the Royals will cut bait and DFA him no later than sometime in July.

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    • craig hill says:

      The Dodgers do not really want Frenchy. Dave Cameron wants the Dodgers to really want Frenchy. I’d prefer Frenchy replace Dave.

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  20. Hurtlockertwo says:

    I love watching the Dodgers circle the toilet, does my heart good.

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  21. Adam says:

    But seriously, will Ethier fight and compete every day? I mean, like, every day?

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  22. Scott says:

    What have you seen from the Rangers management that makes you think they’re dumb enough to take that guy? Especially at that price. The Rangers may indeed need an upgrade over Murphy, but Ethier would be a step backwards.

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  23. Chris K says:

    but what lineup will “compete every day” yet also be “the most competitive”? Sounds like an assignment for the Notgraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team!

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  24. Ethier, just another lazy wetback

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    • algionfriddo says:

      Wow… just wow.

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    • Sergio Garcia says:

      Wow, even I thought that was out of line…

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    • Wobatus says:

      Even if meant as ironic, this is wrong even as a slur. Ethier was born in the U.S. Not that it matters.

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      • Visitor says:

        The guy is a spamming troll. At some point, Fangraphs readers need to get that and stop bothering to respond. He’s here to get people to look him up (usually he goes out of his way to mention his Twitter account as well), so he says the most outrageous thing he can. Ignore him. Always.

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    • nickolai says:

      I’m assuming this was meant as a joke, but still, what a d*ck thing to say.

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  25. hamjenkinsIII says:

    Dodgers management is pretty good at overhyping decent talent and then publicly ridiculing them when they don’t become baseballs version of the ‘Ellen Dance’

    See:
    Broxton, Jonathan
    Lames, Joney
    Martin, Russell
    Pierre, Juan
    Jones, Andruw ‘Starr’
    Scully, Vin
    Selleck, Thomas

    plus Hollywood kinda frowns upon soap opera actors like Andre Ethier

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  26. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Ethier actually seems to be doing fine. He was worth 3 WAR last year and he is projected by ZIPs/Steamer to end around the range of 2 WAR this year. Sure, he can’t hit lefties, but I think you get more value out of keeping him as a platoon bat from the good side than trading him due to his very low trade value.

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    • chuckb says:

      Teams generally don’t want to pay $85 M for “fine.”

      Plus, Mattingly’s looking for a scapegoat in order to keep his job. Everyone should’ve known what Ethier was going to give them.

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      • triebs2 says:

        If the going rate is $5M per win above replacement, and Ethier is being paid $13.5M this year, and he is on pace to end at 2.7 WAR, then yep, Ethier is a total bum. (?)

        Look, I can understand wanting to replace him with Puig because you are paying 4 starting outfielder salaries right now, but the fact is Ethier is doing exactly what he has always done, exactly where you would expect him to be at this age of his career, and exactly on value with what the club is paying him. If you expected more, shame on you.

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  27. Johnny says:

    I was amazed they signed him to 5 year deal at 18 million per. Swisher was the obvious choice. He wanted to play for an LA area team BADLY and would have taken 3/45 or so. They should have just let him walk and signed Swisher to play RF/LF.

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  28. Jim says:

    Poor Mattingly, I totally agree with him. It’s the GM whom I think is on the Giants payroll too that I dislike. But, it’s time to bench Kemp until he is healthy and can think; he does not seem to be the brightest bulb at times. He seems not focus and serious enough. He should be their next concern.

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  29. Yeah I Said It says:

    Is it a Royals Fan wish to find a 3WAR RF who wants to play here because I’m willing to float his wine cooler bill?

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  30. Rob K says:

    Mattingly is not completely at fault for the Dodgers’ performance, but he has not helped. Anecdotally, he is a poor manager. I live abroad so don’t get too much of the media coverage, but I do watch a lot of games. Relative to other NL West teams, Mattingly does a poor job of handling the bullpen. He also fluctuates between wanting to give up outs to advance runners and more of a “money ball” approach. The problem is that the latter only works in large sample sizes, which Mattingly has not provided. The Dodgers rate poorly on sequencing, as I believe FG has pointed out. There is a large disparity between the Dodgers OBP rank and runs scored. You can complain about roster construction, but lineup construction and fluctuating between strategies likely contribute to this underperformance. Both are managerial decisions. That said, I don’t have statistical support for this claim. I would imagine batting Crawford, A.J. Ellis, and Adrian Gonzalez at the top of the order may have helped yield more runs from OBP, but now I’ve crossed the line and invoked the benefit of hindsight. Mattingly isn’t new to this anymore. He might not be surrounded by the greatest baseball minds (to be fair using Hillman’s tenure as a manager with the Royals to judge his effectiveness as a bench coach) but he certainly hasn’t shown an ability to enhance the product on the field with his managerial decisions. Now I will get my Colletti jab in: I fear the Colletti extension has the potential to be more costly than the Ethier extenstion.

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    • Yeah I Said It says:

      “I live abroad so don’t get too much of the media coverage, but I do watch a lot of games.”

      So, you live the perfect life.

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      • TKDC says:

        You know, you can choose to do the same. Just because ESPN comes through to your TV does not mean you have to watch it.

        (I know this was most likely said in jest, but I don’t understand complaining about what Harold Reynolds or whoever says on pregame/postgame shows. In game commentators, yes, you can complain)

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  31. JP LaDuke says:

    Where are the true Dodger fans that know their farm system? They have 2 guys in Chatt ready for an audition-Puig & Joc Pederson.If you’re going to dump Ethier get an infielder in return. God knows they need a 3B/SS. Pat Corrales (special assistant to Kasten)has, as recently as this month,been in Chatt and filed glowing reports on Joc, calling him the most complete outfield prospect in the organization. He will be the next RF in LA!

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  32. Big Daddy V says:

    Only way to save the season is for the Dodgers to fire Mattingly and hire an experienced manager. One who is used to the media pressure that comes with managing a big market club and someone who has experience with the Dodger organization. A former player turned MLB manager would make the most sense.

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    • chuckb says:

      Hmmm…a former player turned MLB manager with some experience in big markets…I wonder who the Dodgers might find with that sort of experience to manage their ball club.

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    • craig hill says:

      I would imagine LA will promote Wallach for the interim and see how he will improve on Mattingly (being crappy would be an improvement, but still not good enough).

      I also would expect Honeycutt and Hillman to hit the road along with Mattingly. If Kasten really has a grip on where to improve, he’d rid us all of Colletti as well. And finally the McCorpse Dodger managment would be finis, one year too late.

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  33. triebs2 says:

    No one wants an average fielder who gets on base 35% of the time with below-average power. That is just terrible. Get rid of the bum now, he is clearly the reason the team is losing right now. A gritty player would go out there and improve his career-low homerun-to-flyball ratio! Ethier is a bum!

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  34. d240z says:

    All I know is that the Dodgers won the Nick Punto trade.

    Punto 1.3 WAR
    Guys below the Little Pony include, David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli, Anthony Rizzo Matt Holliday, Yoenis Cespedes, etc.

    Nick Punto!

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  35. TheScout says:

    Either and Pedroia are tight and my guess is the Dodgers and Red Sox get together again and work a trade where Eithier is in Boston before the All-Star break. I could see it where Lendsends Either, Gordon and maybe a third player for Jose Iglesias and a throw in pitcher. Not only does it appear that Eithier has worn out his welcome, but Gordon has lost all confidence with his recent poor fielding, base running and plate appearances.

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    • craig hill says:

      Scouty-poo, Ethier AND Gordon AND a 3rd player for Jose Iglesias, worth very little and completely unnecessary for the Dodgers, and a throw-in pitcher?! Cuckoo. If the Dodgers are not going to play Gordon at short, they’re going to play Hanley at short, and get another better 3rd baseman. I can see why you’re a blogger and not a real scout.

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    • Jason B. says:

      Also, is Pedroia making all trade decisions for the BoSox now? That’s quite a burden, handling personnel issues to try and acquire all his buddies in addition to manning 2B every day.

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    • Joebrady says:

      I’m good friends with lots of people. That doesn’t mean I want all of them working with me.

      And exactly who does Ethier replace for the RS? We have Nava who is putting up similar numbers to what you’d expect from Ethier. And Carp, who isn’t as good, but comes at a cost about $17M less than Ethier. And since Iglesias probably starts for us next year, why would we want Gordon instead?

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  36. Spunky says:

    Dave, I love the article, but I think you mean “imminently” instead of “eminently.”

    No one likes a grammar snob, so feel free to delete this comment.

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  37. JLS says:

    Why in the Good Lord’s name would the Rangers take Ethier? He is no better than David Murphy, overpaid and left-handed. The Rangers adding him makes 0 sense. They have 4 solid OFers now, and will have the ability to shift Kinsler/Profar to OF next year to replace Cruz. Plus, why not use the money to potentially sign Hunter Pence this offseason? Pence is a much better player, is right handed, probably cheaper, not injury prone–just an overall better fit. Heck yes, Rangers, please let the Dodgers dump all of their problems and screw ups on us.

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  38. Patrick says:

    Garza for either

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  39. craig hill says:

    Your solutions, Dave, to trading Ethier are laughably poor. LA doesn’t need either of these two crappier outfielders than Ethier, inasmuch as saving money is no object for the Dodgers, and the replacements are already on conract down on the farm.

    BTW, the Dodgers rate Joc Pederson higher than fellow outfielder Yasiel Puig at the moment, and it is he who may be the next promoted.

    If they were to trade Ethier, it may be part of a larger package that would end up bolstering the pen, not the outfield.

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  40. NSS says:

    Euthanize Ned Colletti

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