The Mariners missed out on their biggest target, the Los Angeles-bound Josh Hamilton, but now they may have their sights set on Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier. Jon Heyman from CBS Sports tweeted that the Mariners may be trying to pry Ethier away from the free-spending Dodgers, but he also added there isn’t any concrete evidence that Ethier’s current team wants to play ball.
Ethier could make a big difference for a Mariners team that has struggled offensively for the much of the past decade. In 2012, the Mariners were 27th in Major League Baseball in runs scored and dead last when it came to batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Per FanGraphs’ WAR, Ethier turned in the second-best season of his career last year. The left-hander hit .284/.351/.460 with 20 home runs, all numbers that are in line with his career averages.
If the Dodgers do decide they have the flexibility to deal Ethier, it’s likely they would want some major league-ready talent in return rather than just prospects. The team is built to win in the short-term, so a trade that sends away one of the team’s best position players would need to fill gaps elsewhere. The Dodger farm system may be depleted, but it also doesn’t seem to be an immediate area of concern for a team gunning for the NL West crown.