Dodgers willing to trade Andre Ethier; would Tigers be interested?

Greg Fiume

The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly interested in trading two-time All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier. While he would be a massive talent upgrade in the Tigers outfield, is his contract worth the investment?

And so it begins. With 121 days until the start of Spring Training for the 2013 season, we have plenty of time to discuss the Tigers' roster for the upcoming season. More specifically, there will be all sorts of over-analysis on which free agent signings and/or trades make the most sense for the Tigers. This is where I come in. As the resident "expert" (I'm using that term very loosely), I'll be taking a close look at any and all names that pop up around the blogosphere. If you like offseason rumor mongering, these posts will be your bread and butter for the next four months. Now that I've explained what the hell I'm doing -- did I really need to in the first place? -- let's get to work. As always, constructive feedback on format, etc. is welcomed and appreciated.

Instead of previewing the free agent outfielder du jour -- Torii Hunter, if you haven't been reading the comments -- I figured it would be more fun to start off with a bang. Earlier today, Buster Olney tweeted that the Los Angeles Dodgers are willing to listen to trade offers for two-time All-Star outfielder Andre Ethier.

Who is he?

Ethier is a 30 year old left-handed outfielder who was originally drafted by the Oakland A's in 2003. He was traded to the Dodgers in 2005 in exchange for Milton Bradley and infielder Antonio Perez (nice work, Beane). Ethier made his MLB debut with the Dodgers in 2006 and has been an incredibly consistent player for them ever since. He has hit .290/.362/.476 in his seven-year career and has eclipsed the .800 OPS mark in all of those seasons except 2011. Despite his down year, he and the Dodgers agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract extension this June, with a $17.5 million vesting option for the 2018 season.

Why should we care?

As mentioned above, his bat is both stellar and consistent. Not to mention, he's putting up some nice power numbers despite playing 100 games a year in Dodger Stadium, AT&T Park, and PETCO Park. Oddly enough, his home splits are much better. He is a .309/.378/.525 hitter at home with 85 home runs in just under 2000 career plate appearances at Chavez Ravine. His walk rate hovered around 10% for the past five seasons prior to regressing slightly to 8.1% in 2012, though I wouldn't label this as a cause for concern by any means. He was worth 3.5 bWAR this season, the highest mark of his career. To put it in simpler terms, he's probably the second-best left-handed bat we will talk about this offseason, after Josh Hamilton.

Why should we stay away?

That contract, for one. I wouldn't say that he's overpaid, but many fans (myself included) have legitimate concerns on whether the Tigers can afford another big contract on the roster. Additionally, getting the Dodgers to part with Ethier will take more than a package of scraps. Defensive metrics aren't a huge fan of his, though they have softened their stance since 2010. His career UZR is -31.1 and he has "saved" -16 runs. While the accuracy of advanced defensive metrics is still up in the air, that kind of consistency is a bit worrying.

Will he end up in Detroit?

Unlikely. The asking price for Ethier will likely begin and end with a package centered around Nick Castellanos, and I'm not sure the Tigers are too keen on adding another big contract to the roster with all the arbitration raises due over the next few seasons. There's a possibility that the Tigers could get a deal done with Rick Porcello and another prospect or two, but I wouldn't bank on it.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Join Bless You Boys

You must be a member of Bless You Boys to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bless You Boys. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker