Aaron Gleeman

Los Angeles Dodgers batter Andre Ethier reacts in the dugout after he struck out against the New York Mets during their MLB National League baseball game in New York

Dodgers trying to trade Andre Ethier, willing to pay “about half” of his $56 million contract

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Andre Ethier wants to be an everyday player again and the Dodgers have three outfielders they like better than him even after trading away Matt Kemp. So why hasn’t Ethier been traded yet?

Well, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com the Dodgers are offering to cover “about half” of Ethier’s remaining three-year, $56 million contract to move him and so far at least that “hasn’t enticed teams.”

Ethier at three years and around $10 million per season is still pretty pricey for a 33-year-old corner outfielder who hit just .249 with four homers and a .691 OPS in 130 games last season and previously saw his power drop in 2011-2013.

However, prior to 2014 he was consistently a .775-.850 OPS hitter and if the Braves were willing to give Nick Markakis a four-year, $44 million deal this offseason some team may eventually decide Ethier is worth, say, $20 million for three years. Of course, considering how little money seems to matter to the Dodgers at this point it’s possible their players/prospects asking price is more of a sticking point.

Braves scratch Mike Minor from start with more shoulder problems

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
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Uh oh. Braves left-hander Mike Minor, who missed time with shoulder problems last season and struggled when he was healthy enough to take the mound, has been scratched from his scheduled Sunday start with shoulder soreness.

Minor started 32 games with a 3.21 ERA and 181/46 K/BB ratio in 205 innings for the Braves as a 25-year-old in 2013, but was limited to 25 starts last season and got knocked around for a 4.77 ERA with 21 homers allowed in 145 innings.

Sunday’s missed start is being called precautionary, but it’s obviously a bad sign that his shoulder is already an issue after a winter off. He’s under contract for $5.6 million after winning his arbitration hearing against the Braves in mid-February.

Video: Alex Rodriguez’s spring training debut

alex rodriguez head
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Alex Rodriguez made his spring training debut this afternoon against the Phillies and got on base twice, going 1-for-2 with a single and a walk.

Here’s video evidence!

Rodriguez is 39 years old and didn’t play at all last season, so naturally he hit a line-drive single in his first at-bat.

A’s announce Coco Crisp is moving to left field

coco crisp getty
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In an effort to keep Coco Crisp healthier after missing at least 25 games in each of the past four seasons, the A’s announced that the longtime center fielder is moving to left field.

Crisp is 35 years old, which is past the point when most center fielders shift to corner spots. He graded out very poorly in advanced defensive metrics last year, rating -14 runs in Ultimate Zone Rating and -17 runs in Defensive Runs Saved. So there’s more to the move than health considerations.

The move leaves Craig Gentry and Sam Fuld to platoon in center field, which figures to be a large upgrade defensively but ensures the A’s will have a lineup spot with very little pop offensively. In the short term it doesn’t change much, since Gentry and Fuld were going to play in left field anyway, but it does cut down on potential lineup options later.

Phillies don’t expect Chad Billingsley to be ready for Opening Day

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres
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Philadelphia signed Chad Billingsley to an incentive-laden one-year deal in the hopes that he’ll bounce back well from Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries, but Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that “he’s not expected to be big league-ready until late April.”

That’s no surprise given that Billingsley went under the knife last April. He also hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since way back in April of 2013, when his solid seven-year run as a mid-rotation starter for the Dodgers came to a halt.

In the meantime David Buchnanan could get an extended chance to remain in the rotation after starting 20 games with a 3.75 ERA for the Phillies as a 25-year-old rookie last season.