Dodgers' outfielder Andre Ethier has reportedly announced that he would "love" to play in Boston, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. Given the Red Sox' myriad outfield woes this season and Ethier's .851 career OPS, the Boston brass would no doubt equally love to welcome the 28-year-old lefty to Beantown.
Certainly, much of Red Sox Nation would leap at the prospect of acquiring Ethier, and the Dodgers' divorce disarray could make such an acquisition an unlikely reality.
Not often do the financial, legal, and contractual stars align so perfectly. A year ago, the idea that Ethier might be available via trade would have been almost laughable, but the Dodger franchise is now in such turmoil that dealing a rising star with a favorable contract is no longer beyond the realm of possibility.
While most franchises, particularly ones situated in such mammoth markets, would smile upon Ethier's $9.25 million 2011 paycheck, the Dodgers are not one of them. Despite front office adamant statements to the contrary, the highly publicized McCourt divorce seems to have hamstrung that office's spending ability.
In fact, the Dodgers' financial constraints may not be limited to maintaining what is already a questionably low payroll. The Dodgers may be forced to cut further a budget that already seems shy of their perceived revenue streams.
Ethier may be one of the young stars of Hollywood's ballclub, but his rising stock may be the very thing that sees him prematurely exit the Los Angeles stage.
Oddly enough, it's not so much Ethier's next big raise that might render him unaffordable for the divorce-embroiled Dodgers; rather, it's Ethier's paltry $3.75 million pay increase from 2010 to 2011 that might ship him off to Boston.
Obviously, given Ethier's limited MLB service time, his desires factor little in any possible trade destination. However, the Red Sox and Dodgers have a solid history in the trade market and in an essentially forced trade, an easy, familiar negotiation may be valued at a premium.
In case there is any doubt, the Red Sox certainly could take advantage of Ethier's bat in 2011 and beyond.
Presently, Boston has Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Cameron, and J.D. Drew manning the outfield for another year, but the Red Sox could easily make room for Ethier. Should an Ethier trade become a palpable possibility, the Red Sox could let David Ortiz walk, shift Drew to designated hitter, and plant Ethier in right field.
Both Drew and Cameron are under contract for only one more year, and the Sox aren't likely to resign either, so keeping them happy with their playing time or positioning shouldn't be particularly high on the list of 2011 priorities.
There is ample room for Ethier and his Pesky-perfect lefty bat.
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