The longest-tenured Los Angeles Dodgers player is outfielder Andre Ethier, who made his debut in 2006. Ethier’s name has often been mentioned in trade rumors over recent years, but it’s been more smoke and mirrors than actual activity.
By remaining part of the Dodgers organization, including being with the club over the past five seasons, Ethier will become a player with 10-and-5 rights on April 21. Assuming he’s with Los Angeles on that date, the veteran outfielder will earn a no-trade clause.
Ethier is again part of a roster that has a surplus of outfielders. The Dodgers reportedly floated his name and Carl Crawford to the Chicago White Sox in trade talks during the offseason, but traction was never gained.
Presumably in part due to Crawford’s and Ethier’s respective salaries, it’s believed Alex Guerrero is the most likely outfielder to be traded.
Although there has been speculation the Dodgers would prefer to trade Ethier prior to April 21, general manager Farhan Zaidi downplayed the significance of soon-to-be-34-year-old becoming a 10-and-5 player, via Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
“The 10-and-5 thing – when a guy is an important and productive part of your team, you don’t spend your time worrying about whether you’re going to be able to trade him,” Zaidi said.
Ethier is glad to be on track for another season with the Dodgers, but added he’s aware of quickly change can occur:
“I guess I take comfort in knowing I was valuable last year and they still feel that. Going forward, I’m going to hopefully prove them right in those beliefs,” Ethier said. “But you know … things can change overnight or with one phone call. I can say I’m more than happy and pleased to be back in this uniform. I’m excited to be back again.”
After a down year in 2014, Ethier had a resurgence last season. He batted .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 142 games — playing a significant role in the Dodgers withstanding the losses of Crawford (oblique strain) and Yasiel Puig (hamstring strains) for large chunks of the year.
Just as he did last year, Ethier is moving forward with the same mindset of wanting to be an everyday player with the Dodgers.