Andre Ethier is on the trading block

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UPDATE: Rosenthal says the Dodgers have “zero intention” of trading Ethier, but will listen. He says two teams have inquired.

October: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier!

November: No, the Dodgers are not interested in trading Andre Ethier.

December: The Dodgers are interested in trading Andre Ethier:

I don’t doubt that the Dodgers would actually like to trade Ethier, but he’s got an ugly contract, even by late 2012’s increasingly crazy standards. L.A. owes him $85 million between now and 2017. This for a guy who turns 31 next season.  If anyone wanted Ethier, they’d be better off just signing Nick Swisher themselves.

Which doesn’t mean he’s untradable. For one thing — as one of my Tweeps notes — a free agent like Swisher may nit wish to go to a place like, say, Seattle, so if the M’s wanted his like, they could do a deal for Ethier. And of course, L.A. could kick in a lot of money in any Ethier deal.

Still seems pretty unlikely anyone would bite, but stranger things have happened.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.