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.