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.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.