May 21, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Los Angeles Dodgers News: No Deadline on Andre Ethier Extension Talks

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier told Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times that he has not put a deadline on the team regarding his extension talks.

“We’ll take a look at whatever they bring to us,” Andre Ethier said. “I don’t look at it any other way. I’m not going to sit here and play what-ifs and what-nots.”

GM Ned Colletti would love to re-sign the veteran slugger, who is in the midst of another one of this torrid starts to the season. Ethier has been worth 2 WAR with a terrific 157 wRC+, and this could be the year he truly breaks out and becomes a 4+ WAR player. In fact, ZiPS projects him to have a 4.5 WAR, even though he has not been worth that much since the 2008 season, back when he was worth a career-high 3.5 WAR.

Andre Ethier has a 157 wRC+ this season, and his career high of 133 was also set in ’08. He has a career 124 wRC+ and is currently getting on base at a .374 clip, which is only about ten points above his career average and expected 2012 total. His +1.4 UZR is definitely above-average for him, as he had a -16.5 UZR just two seasons ago.

The left-handed, corner outfielder could get a four-year deal with the Dodgers, as five years or more is definitely too much, with three years being ideal. Ethier has not received a formal contract proposal from the team yet, so everything is up to speculation.

If the 30-year-old is given a four year extension, then he will likely be worth 3 WAR in his first year, 2 WAR in the next two years, and 1.5 WAR in his final year. Ethier bases his game off of power and patience, and those qualities will not deteriorate quickly. However, defense will decline and his base-running will also negatively impact his value later on.

With that 8.5 WAR projection in mind, Ethier should receive $1o million per year for a $40 million deal overall for those four seasons. That may seem like too little, but he will be 31 next season. It will be interesting to see how the discussions move along as the season goes on, and it’s good to hear that Ethier is willing to stay with the Dodgers and not go to, say, the Boston Red Sox. Or, at least, without trying to negotiate with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers will likely give an offer to the Dodgers at some point during the next couple of months, and the preliminary offer will be interesting to see, as it gives a rough (albeit lower) estimate of Ethier’s ability. I am most interested in seeing how many years the team offers the slugger, and it is also good to hear that Colletti and the team are working to retain one of their best players.

Follow Joe Soriano on Twitter here. Check out Lasorda’s Lair for more on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tags: Andre Ethier Bill Shaikin Boston Red Sox Los Angeles Dodgers Ned Colletti

  • organicallyrude

    I think Dre will garner more than $40 mill. I wouldn’t say his defense is abysmal. Although some may argue that is range is lacking, we watch him make great catches day in and day out and he had quite a few assists last year.

  • LasordasLair

    Dre is a great outfielder. Last year he led the league with the best zone rating for all right fielders. He is a terrific outielder, and I dont care what people say. I watch every Dodger game, so I know what I see

  • LasordasLair

    I linked to your piece over at LL Joe

  • JoshMcdonald

    What kind of idiot calls last year’s gold glover an abysmal outfielder?  

  • SorianoJoe

     @LasordasLair Thanks for the link, and you guys are right, I screwed up by saying that. However, I meant to say that Ethier’s defense will decline by the end of the deal and he will most likely be a liability at that point. The problem is that he’s slow, and I would never call him great. He has a great arm and can make plays, but his range is going to vastly decline by the end of this figurative deal. Stacie, I think he will garner more than $40 million as well, especially if he breaks out and meets his ZiPS in-season projection of 4.5 WAR. Then, he’s on his way to something near $60 million. However, he would be 35 at the end of such a deal, so paying him more than $50 million might not sit well with some people. They’ll do it anyway, and we wouldn’t think less of the Dodgers for making that move to keep (I’m not a Dodgers fan but from what I see) a fan favorite.