8-29-2011: The Dodgers and Andre Ethier

There has been a pretty public rift recently between Andre Ethier and the Dodgers, and the cash-strapped club may look to unload him this offseason, according to this speculative article over at FanGraphs. In addition to the strained feelings, he’s an injury risk coming off of surgery, and the kind of player the Dodgers may not be able to afford next season (or the year after that, when he reaches free agency).

Sox fans know about the lack of production we’ve had in right field this year, and how we’d like to add a right-handed power bat to this lineup (Ethier is both of those). We also know that J.D. Drew’s contract is expiring and we don’t have a solution in place in right field beyond Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish right now. Ethier is probably an average right-fielder at best, but his production and estimated salary fits very nicely into the hole which will be left by Drew, and Ethier has said before that he’d love to play for Boston. It almost seems like it’s meant to be.

Matt Klaasen thinks that a grade C-type prospect might be a fair return for Ethier. At that price, I’d LOVE to add a bat like Ethier to this lineup, though realistically I think that other teams would also bid for him and drive the price up a bit. I’d be willing to trade a Reddick or a Kalish for Ethier if need be; what do you say?

Links 9-20-2010: Offer to V-Mart, Ortiz’ option, Youk, Ethier, Drew, Darvish

The Sox apparently made a two-year offer to Victor Martinez, which he understandably turned down. I know they don’t want to sign him long-term to be their catcher, but this is an obvious low-ball offer to one of the upper-tier free agent prizes this offseason. I’d love to see them grab him for 3-4 years, with the understanding that he will transition mostly to 1B/DH towards the end of the deal.

There was an earlier report that the Sox are prepared to pick up David Ortiz’s $12.5M option for 2011. I’d be very surprised if they went this route rather than explore a multi-year deal at a lower annual salary.

Here is a rundown on what the Red Sox rotation could look like next year (hint: it’s very similar to this year’s model). Look for the Sox to try and ink Clay Buchholz to an extension, thought they might want to wait until his stock drops some. His numbers this year are kind of crazy good, and probably a bit better than we can expect from him going forward.

Here are the players going who are eligible to go to arbitration this offseason.

Always the good soldier, Kevin Youkilis has gone on record saying that he’ll play wherever the Sox ask him to next year. Normally you don’t worry about moving a Gold Glove first baseman, but moving Youk to third base could give the Sox flexibility in case they can’t re-sign Adrian Beltre this offseason.

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Trade Manny to Who?

I’ve said that I still believe that Manny Ramirez is still a highly valuable player. But Manny managed to do it again, and this might be the one that broke the Manny’s back. After being cleared by team doctors to play, he pulled himself out of the lineup with a sore knee. The Sox clubhouse was closed to the media, and after a team meeting, Manny was back in the lineup. Turns out he would have faced a team suspension if he had not played yesterday. Theo Epstein told Tim McCarver yesterday before the game that if Manny Ramirez is willing to waive his 10-5 no-trade rights, he would try to deal Ramirez before the deadline. All of this adds up to some bad juju for the long-time Sox slugger.

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