The Los Angeles Dodgers have been actively shopping Andre Ethier and might find a trading partner in the Chicago White Sox for the outfielder who has been playing for the Dodgers his entire career.
The White Sox are interested in an outfielder, preferably one with a pretty good bat, like Ethier. The 33-year old batted .294 last season, his best since 2008, while hitting 14 home runs in 142 games and posted a .852 OPS, in what was something of a bounce back season for him after a rough 2014. He’s a two-time All-Star (2010, 2011), one time Gold Glove winner and one-time Silver Slugger recipient. He isn’t getting any younger, but it seems he has a season or two left of some big hitting.
The quality of him as a player isn’t the problem for the White Sox. His salary ($35.5 million over the next two seasons + $17.5 million vesting option in 2018 with a $2.5 million buyout) is. The White Sox weren’t big fans of piling on their salary expenditures this offseason, which is why they didn’t go all out on outfielders in the free agency market, and which is what’s holding them back when it comes to Dexter Fowler or maybe Austin Jackson, who are still available.
The Dodgers are looking for young talent and the White Sox, who have already given up some of that, aren’t filled with prospects they can just hand over, at least not ones they find expendable. The Dodgers might play a part in paying Ethier’s salary, but a player with a 2.7 WAR isn’t just given up on for nothing, even if it helps the Dodgers clear some salary which they clearly want to do.
How does this end? Right now not going anywhere, but the White Sox did acquire Todd Frazier in a three-player deal, so maybe it becomes something complicated like that (the Dodgers were part of that transaction too) again. As of now, with the simple numbers of salary for prospects going on, it’s hard to see Ethier actually leaving the Dodgers for US Cellular Field.