With less and less big name and immediate-impact free agents on the market, some would-be contenders are moving on to dumping expensive contracts. The Los Angeles Angels would love someone to take Andre Ethier off their hands, and the Los Angeles Angels hope for the same to happen with C.J. Wilson.
Ethier had a good season in 2015, something of a bounce back year for him, hitting .294 (best since 2008) with 14 home runs and a .852 OPS hitting in a strict platoon approach from the Dodgers in 445 at bats, spending most of his time between right field and left field. That’s a vast improvement compared to his 2014 season, in which he lost a lot of the credit he established over the years with the Dodgers, finishing with career lows in almost every possible statistical category.
With Dexter Fowler being the top outfielder left on the market, the Dodgers are hoping they can find someone to take his contract off their hands. Ethier makes $35.5 million in the next two seasons and has a $17.5 million vesting option in 2018. With the Dodgers trying to move away from the huge payroll they’ve gotten people to expect from them, even with Ethier’s production, they’re hoping they can get something from his contract now before he gets too old to move around.
The story is similar for the Angels and Wilson, who is already past his 35th birthday. He has only 300 innings pitches in the last two seasons, including 132 in 2015. He’s no longer the player he was when he was first signed off of the Texas Rangers, making the All-Star game in 2012. He had a 1.242 WHIP last season and a 2.39 strikeout/walk ratio, both his best since moving to the Angels. But he makes $20 million in 2016, so the Angels are hoping they somehow find a way to move him during this season and not have to pay too much of his salary.
Wilson can block trades to 8 teams in 2016, but the Angels must have a lot of faith in their rotation if they’re trying to move him away. The combination Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano, and Andrew Heaney among the 8 starters the Angels have on their 40-man roster doesn’t exactly sound promising, unless they know something no one else does.