MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers have chosen to buy out the remainder of outfielder Andre Ethier‘s contract for $2.5 million rather than picking up his $17.5 million club option, making him a free agent. Thus ends his five-year, $85 million contract signed back in June 2012.
Ethier, 35, played in only 22 games during the regular season for the Dodgers due to neck and back injuries. He also only played in 16 games in 2016. This past regular season, he batted .235/.316/.441. Ethier was responsible for the Dodgers’ only run in their Game 7 loss to the Astros in the World Series.
Given Ethier’s age, injury history, and declining production, he’ll likely have to settle for a minor league deal or a one-year, incentive-laden major league contract if he intends to play in 2018. Ethier debuted with the Dodgers in 2006 and has been with them ever since.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.