White Sox rumored to be interested in Andre Ethier
This morning rumors are swirling about the potential trade acquisition of Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier by the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox were largely rumored to be in on the Carlos Gonzalez trade talks last month, and they did not pull the trigger. However, White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn was quoted at this past weekends Sox Fest 2016, saying that the team is still working on another move before spring training. Maybe this is what Hahn was referring to, if so what would it cost the White Sox, and what does Andre Ethier bring to the table?
The Dodgers have already acquired three White Sox prospects this offseason when they received a package of Trayce Thompson, Micah Johnson, and Frankie Montas in the Todd Frazier trade. Who else could the White Sox afford to give up from their already scarce supply of prospects in the organization, or will they be able to net Ethier for a smaller sum along the lines of a current roster player and/or draft picks?
At this point, the price of acquiring Ethier has not really been speculated. I would imagine that the Dodgers would look to gain some pitching in return after the departure of Zack Greinke this offseason. They are looking to move Ethier because of a long standing log-jam in their outfield that includes Ethier, Carl Crawford, Alex Guerrero, Scott Van-Slyke, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and Trayce Thompson. I could see a straight swap of Ethier, and Sox prospect Tyler Danish. Not sure how I feel about that, but it is something that seems to fit both teams needs right now.
Ethier has played his entire career in Los Angeles, and had solid production as well. Over his 10 years with the Dodgers Ethier has a slash line of .286/.359/.464 to go along with 18 home runs, and 73 RBIs. In 2015 Ethier struggled out of the gates, largely due to adjusting to a new role as a bench/platoon player in the Dodgers outfield. He rebounded nicely though finishing up the season with a .294 BA, 14 home runs, 53 RBIs, 20 doubles, and 7 triples over 142 games. Over his 10 seasons Ethier has posted a solid .987 FLD% splitting time between all three outfield positions.
At 33 years-old Ethier would bring a veteran presence to the locker room, along with both a solid bat and glove. He would be an upgrade over Avisail Garcia in right field immediately, and the two could even split time between right field and the designated hitter position if Adam LaRoche stumbles out of the gate again in 2016.
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Overall, if the price is right I believe that Ethier is an excellent acquisition for the White Sox, who will be and offensive, and defensive upgrade over Avi Garcia. As well it creates a back-up plan for the designated hitter position if LaRoche can not produce. Ethier is signed through the 2017 season, so he fits perfectly into the current two year window that the White Sox have going with other big contracts on the payroll. Stay tuned for more as the story develops.