The Dodgers announced that Andre Ethier has suffered a broken leg, as Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tweets. The fractured right tibia will sideline the outfielder for 10-14 weeks. Luckily, the outfielder will not require surgery.
Ethier, 34 in April, slumped to a .249/.322/.370 slash line in 2014 but rebounded in a major way in 2015. Last year, Ethier slashed .294/.366/.486 with 14 homers across 445 plate appearances, primarily as a platoon bat. After he restored his value, the Dodgers received trade interest on Ethier this winter, including some bites from the White Sox. With a crowded outfield, the Dodgers probably could have afforded to part with the two-time All-Star, but Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi shot down that talk in February, referring to Ethier as a “really important part” of the team. Indeed, after his bounce-back campaign, the Dodgers were looking forward to seeing what Ethier’s left-handed bat could do in 2016. Now, they’ll have to wait until the summer to find out.
For his career, Ethier has a strong batting line of .286/.359/.464 across ten seasons for the Dodgers. He has two years remaining on his contract and is owed $38MM, including a modest buyout on an option for 2018. Aside from Ethier, the Dodgers have outfielders Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Carl Crawford, Scott Van Slyke, Trayce Thompson, and Enrique Hernandez on the 40-man roster. Ethier’s 10-and-5 rights kick in next month, but Zaidi has publicly said that he is not concerned about that happening.