The L.A Dodgers and Andre Ethier had concluded to a 5-year, $85 million contract extension with a vesting option for a 6th year that could push the total price north of $100 million. It’s the 3rd biggest agreement in organization history behind the Matt Kemp and Kevin Brown deals and one of the 15 wealthiest contracts ever for an outfielder. Ethier was scheduled to hit free agency this offseason but instead decided to stay in L.A for a slightly healthy sum. Odds
The contract can also include a $17.5 million club option for 2018 that would instantly vest if Ethier were to reach certain plate appearance thresholds in 2017 or in 2016-17 combined, probably taking the total cost of the agreement to $100 million over 6 years.
The new contract will pay Ethier salaries of $13.5 million in 2013, $15.5 million in 2014, $18 million in both 2015 and 2016 and $17.5 million in 2017. There is a $2.5 million buyout of the club option if it doesn’t vest and the club selects not to exercise it.
After Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, in which Ethier went hitless in 4 at-bats with 3 strikeouts, he declined to comment on the new contract.
“I have been instructed that I will not address … Until tomorrow,” Ethier claimed. “There will be an announcement tomorrow. We’re going to talk tomorrow, I promise.”
Ethier, 30 years old, was an All-Star every one of the past 2 seasons, then avoided arbitration last winter by agreeing on a one year cope with a $10.95 million base salary. He entered Friday night’s game against the L. A. Angels hitting .287 for the season and leading the national League with 53 RBIs regardless of wrestling since the start of June.
Ethier becomes the latest of a few young Dodgers to be locked into long-term deals that will prevent the club from losing them to free agency. Fifteen months ago, previous All-Star right-hander Chad Billingsley concluded to a 3-year, $35 million deal that didn’t begin until this year, and last winter, All-Star center fielder Matt Kemp accepted the biggest contract in Dodgers history, an 8-year, $160 million agreement.
The analysts have just looked at the impact this contract will have on Josh Hamilton and the Rangers presumably one fewer suitor now but it also trickles down to the N.Y Yankees. Nick Swisher is lined up to become a free agent this winter and like Ethier, he’s an excellent though not top-flight corner outfielder in his early-30s. They’ve produced similar offensive (127 versus. 124 wRC+ in favor of Ethier) and defensive (-12 vs. -14 DRS in favor of Swisher) numbers since the beginning of 2009, though Swisher has played in at least 150 games in each one of the last 6 seasons while Ethier has done so just two times in his career and not since 2009.
Clearly Ethier has the much better season in 2012 131 wRC+ and 2.2 fWAR versus. 105 and 0.4 for Swisher and that’s part of the reason the Los Angeles Dodgers were so desperate to re-sign the player.