The Dodgers have chosen to opt out of outfielder Andre Ethier’s contract, making him a free agent. Here are three reasons they should re-sign him.
The Dodgers almost became World Series champions earlier this month, but after a close loss to the Astros it’s not surprising the front office would be making some changes. Unfortunately, that change comes at the expense of long-time Dodger Andre Ethier.
Reports surfaced Sunday the team had chosen not to re-sign Ethier for 2018, making him a free agent. He was awarded a $2.5-million buyout. If the team had picked him up for next season, they would have owed him $17.5 million.
While it’s not a big surprise the team made this choice, Ethier has some life left in him, if in Dodgers blue.
He has a proven track record
Ethier was the longest tenured Dodgers player before his release on Sunday. He’s played in 51 post-season games, including the 2017 World Series. He was in the outfield of Chavez Ravine for 12 unbelievable seasons after being traded in 2005 for Milton Bradley. He’s appeared in two All-Star teams and batted .285 with 162 home runs. He comes in a close second (just behind Willie Davis) for doubles at 303 for the Dodgers.
Though he struggled with injuries his last two seasons with the team (a broken leg in 2016 and a herniated disk in 2017) he was able to return each time to play in the postseason when it really mattered.
He’s a fan favorite
You can’t go to Dodgers Stadium without seeing a plethora of Ethier gear. He went head to head with Matt Kemp during his reign and held his own. There are numerous fansites, social media accounts and fan clubs devoted to Either. Check out some of the fans reactions to hearing Ethier is a Dodger no more. The respect he garners is palpable.
His last at-bat
Though no one knew it at the time, Ethier likely had his last ever at-bat for the Dodgers during Game 7 of the World Series, and what an at-bat it was. He delivered a pinch-hit single that brought in the teams only run.
There’s still a small chance the team could re-sign him under a different contract for less money but that isn’t likely with stars like Joc Pederson already on the roster. Only time will tell if we see Ethier on another team, or retire.