Andre Ethier has avoided arbitration with the Dodgers, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $10.95 million.
This is Ethier’s final arbitration eligible season, so barring a contract extension with the Dodgers he’ll be a free agent next winter at age 31.
He earned $9.5 million last season while hitting .292 with 11 homers and a career-low .789 OPS in 135 games, failing to crack an .800 OPS for the first time in six seasons as a big leaguer.
It’ll be interesting to see what type of market there is for Ethier next offseason. Based purely on production he’s somewhat similar to corner outfielders Josh Willingham and Michael Cuddyer, who inked three-year deals worth $21 million and $30 million respectively this offeason. However, because Ethier will be younger than those two when he becomes a free agent and his reputation generally exceeds his on-field performance he’d seemingly be in line for a larger deal.
With Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna gone, the next logical step for the Marlins would be to trade away Christian Yelich. He’s be an amazingly attractive trade candidate given that he is under team control through 2022, and is owed a very reasonable $58 million or so. He just turned 26 last week and has hit .290/.369/.432 in his five year career. That’s the kind of player and contract that could bring back a mess of prospects.
Except the Marlins, it seems, don’t want to do that. Multiple reports have come out in the last hour saying that the Marlins intend to hold on to Yelich and to build around him.
That could be a negotiating ploy, of course. They’ll no doubt listen to offers and, if the right one comes along, they’d certainly give strong consideration to trading him. A good deal is a good deal.
The only question, in light of the events of the last week, is whether the Marlins would know a good deal if they saw one.