The Los Angeles Dodgers have made it clear that Andre Ethier is on the trading block, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
Olney tweeted on Monday:
Sources: Dodgers are open to the idea of dealing Andre Ethier. He signed a five-year, $85 million contract during the season.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) October 30, 2012
Following a disastrous second half of the season, the Dodgers are obviously looking to make some changes.
It's not that Ethier necessarily played poorly in 2012; it's that the Dodgers have a lot of money tied to Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett, who they acquired from the Boston Red Sox in August.
At the non-waiver trade deadline on July 31, the Dodgers were only one game behind the San Francisco Giants in the National League West. They finished eight games back by the end of the season, going 30-27 after the deadline and 18-18 after the trade with the Red Sox.
Ethier batted .284 with 20 home runs, 89 RBI and 79 runs in 2012. He batted .278 after the All-Star break. He had the fourth-most RBI (34) after the break among the Dodgers.
Los Angeles as a team scored 305 runs after the break, 12th out of 16 National League teams. For a franchise that was expecting to wrestle the division away from the Giants after the trade with the Red Sox, it certainly was a shock to see the team actually do worse than it did during the first half of the season.
And for a club currently in the same division as a Giants team that has won the World Series twice in the past three seasons, there is certainly pressure to compete in 2013.
The Dodgers know what they had last season wasn't enough to propel them to the division title. By dangling Ethier, perhaps they'll find some extra pieces to fill in the gaps.