Sunday, January 4, 2015

Might the Orioles be interested in Ethier?

That would be a yes, according to Orioles' insider Roch Kubatko of MASN Sports.  While no specifics were given, the O's and Dodgers have held discussions about an Ethier trade, not too long after a Matt Kemp deal never came to fruition.

From what I can gather, I wouldn't say a deal is anywhere close to being done, it's just being talked about.  The biggest holdup is (shocker of shocks...) Ethier's hefty contract.  Right now he's owed a whopping $53.5 million over the next three years.  He even has a vesting option for 2018 at $17.5 million, or a $2.5 million buyout.  Um... I think we know which deal he'll end up getting in 2018!

Anyway, if you're the Dodgers, you're happy to engage in discussions, even with Kemp in San Diego.  Ethier did a good job in being very flexible last season, as he was called upon to play center after Kemp failed so badly at it in May.  Not soon after, he was riding the pine, as the Dodgers went with Carl Crawford in left, Yasiel Puig in center, and Kemp in right to win the division.

All the while, Ethier really didn't do anything to force Don Mattingly's hand, as his numbers fell off badly.  In 130 games, he hit a mere .249 with four homers, 42 RBIs, and two steals.  Simply put, his power just completely abandoned him.

There's no doubt that he's the kind of guy who needs a change of scenery.  He's not a big power hitter anymore, but I certainly don't think he's as bad as the numbers he put up in 2014, either.  Maybe Baltimore would be a good spot for him.  Nick Markakis is in Atlanta and Nelson Cruz is in Seattle, so there's really only Adam Jones in that outfield.  Ethier could slide right in.

Of course, any deal involving Ethier would have to include the Dodgers eating a big portion of that bloated deal.  But if the Dodgers really are ready to go with Joc Pederson playing a much larger role this upcoming season, then Ethier is expendable.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

As Anderson comes in, Arruebarrena goes out

Happy New Year!

With my first post of 2015, here's some news about the ever-changing roster. 

First of all, Brett Anderson has been officially signed to a one-year deal worth $10 million, plus another $4 in incentives.  This has been in the works for over a couple of weeks, but due to the holiday season, it's taken awhile to dry the ink.

Anderson, a lefty who pitched for the Rockies last season, slides into the rotation as the team's new #5 starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, and newly signed Brandon McCarthy. 

While Anderson posted a great ERA of 2.91 last season, it was done making only eight starts due to a variety of injuries.  The word "injury" has pretty much followed his career, as he was a promising rookie with the A's back in 2009, going 11-11 with a 4.06 ERA and 1.28 WHIP.  After that, it was one trip to the DL after another.

The Dodgers must not be too concerned about his injury history, as they're willing to give him a shot.  GM Farhan Zaidi pointed out that management chose to spend $22 million on McCarthy and Anderson to fill out the back end of the rotation this year rather than go for broke on another ace like James Shield or Max Scherzer.  Considering the money that's been spent on Kershaw and Greinke in the past, you can't blame them for choosing this strategy.

With one man's arrival means another man's departure, and in this case, it's Arruebarrena.  His DFA did come as a surprise, as it was all of one year ago when then-GM Ned Colletti signed him for five years and $25 million.  And with the way the deal was structured, there's still $22 million left on it.  That's a whole lot of dough to just wave goodbye to.

But then again, is Arruebarrena really going away?  I doubt it.  Barring a trade, I can't imagine any other team wanting to pick up that contract for a guy who flat out cannot hit.  Sure, he has an amazing glove, and is about as smooth as it gets at short.  But when you have 41 at-bats and collect only eight hits (.195), it's hard to feel confident that he's the shortstop of the future.

With that said, considering the wheeling and dealing the Dodgers have done this offseason, look for a possible trade with Arruebarrena in the near future.