The offseason rumor mill continues to churn, with the latest news concerning the outfield. It's being said that the Dodgers may try to sign free agent Torii Hunter, who's coming off a fine season with the fake Los Angeles team.
How would that be possible with Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp returning from injury, and Andre Ethier in the fold? Apparently, it's Ethier who could become available.
Here's what we know about Hunter. Initially, it was being reported that the Dodgers approached him about a two-year contract. Last year, he hit .313 with 16 home runs and 92 RBIs for a disappointing Angels team that failed to even make the playoffs after splurging for Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson in the offseason. Also, he's won a Gold Glove nine times. Not too shabby.
Since this news surfaced last week, new details show that perhaps this report wasn't entirely accurate. On one hand, it was Hunter's agent who approached Ned Colletti at the Winter Meetings about joining the club. Also, who's to say Hunter would even want to risk accepting a lesser role if Ethier does stay? It would be hard to imagine him signing as a fourth outfielder with his numbers. That doesn't make any sense.
After coming off a season hitting .284 with 20 homers and 89 RBIs, Ethier is perhaps being dangled in trade talks. This really isn't anything new, as he's the type of player you like to have on your club, but never seems to have the big numbers you want to see. He signed a five-year, $85 million extension this past June, which appeared to end any thoughts of moving him. Then again, maybe not.
It sure seems like these two moves directly correlate with each other. Since word on signing Hunter has cooled in recent days, so should talk of trading Ethier. Hunter is a tough player who will turn 38 next July, Ethier will be 31 next April. Obviously, youth is on Ethier's side, who also has a Gold Glove in his trophy case. Bottom line, unless the Dodgers are wowed with a trade offer for Ethier, I wouldn't be a fan of this trade off.