Report: White Sox 'exploring' Dodgers OF Andre Ethier
The Los Angeles Dodgers reportedly have an interesting solution to their surplus of outfielders.
According to Phil Rogers of MLB.com, the Chicago White Sox are showing interest in veteran right fielder Andre Ethier, who has played 10 seasons with the Dodgers.
#Dodgers would prefer to deal Carl Crawford but it's Ethier who is drawing interest from teams with remaining OF needs.— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) February 1, 2016
Ethier's name has been mentioned in trade rumors over the past few years during a period in which the Dodgers have held an excess of frontline outfielders.
The team's starting outfield for Opening Day 2016 is projected to be Carl Crawford in left field, Joc Pederson in center and Yasiel Puig in right.
The Dodgers also have Scott Van Slyke and Alex Guerrero as options in left field, and utility man Kiké Hernandez and newly acquired prospect Trayce Thompson as backups in center in addition to having Ethier as a reserve in right.
After initially struggling to adapt to a bench role, Ethier proved he is still an above-average outfielder in 2015 by hitting .294/.366/.486 with 14 home runs and 53 RBI in 445 plate appearances over 142 games.
The White Sox could use Ethier's bat and veteran presence on the club, as they have limited options in right field beyond emerging prospect Avisail Garcia, who hit .257/.309/.365 with 13 homers and 59 RBI in 148 games last year.
If the Dodgers are interested in parting ways with Ethier in order to clear up the long-standing logjam in their outfield, now would be the time to do so.
Once the season begins, Ethier's 10-5 trade rights for playing in the majors for 10 years and spending five consecutive years with the same team will kick in. That will allow him veto power on any potential deal.
Ethier, 33, who was selected in the second round of the 2003 amateur draft by the Oakland A's, has averaged 18 homers and 73 RBI a season with a .286/.359/.464 split in his 10 years with the Dodgers.