After a bounce-back 2015 campaign, Andre Ethier was determined to carry that success into the following the year. But in the two seasons that followed, the veteran outfielder battled injuries that twice sidelined him into September.
Nonetheless, Ethier was with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the postseason in both 2016 and 2017. His October highlights include a go-ahead RBI single in last year’s National League Division Series, and a home run in each of the past two Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Now, after 12 seasons with the Dodgers, Ethier is a free agent. He reached the open market after the club declined their $17.5 million option for 2018.
Although the past two years have been particularly trying, Ethier does not plan on retiring, according to Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times:
Andre Ethier intends to play in 2018, for what it's worth.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) November 14, 2017
A herniated disc in his lower back limited Ethier to just 22 games this season. He first experienced back and hip trouble in Spring Training, which cut short what was shaping to be another impressive showing in camp.
Primarily appearing off the bench once he was activated from the disabled list, Ethier went 8-for-34 with one double, two home runs and three RBI. There’s yet to be any indication from the Dodgers on whether they have interest in re-signing the 35-year-old.
Depth in the outfield would suggest it’s an unlikely scenario, but the same also appeared to be the case last winter with respect to Chase Utley. If the 2017 season was Ethier’s final with the Dodgers, he spent it as the longest-tenured player in the organization.