The Dodgers are summoning veteran outfielder Andre Ethier to meet the team in Miami and could activate him from the DL as soon as this evening, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports on Twitter. Since he has been on the 60-day DL, Ethier will require a 40-man roster spot in order to return.
Ethier, 34, has not played a single major league inning this year since suffering a broken leg late this spring. Much has changed since his injury, but with less than a month to play the Dodgers are leading the NL West and can certainly stand to add another quality piece to a depth chart that already boasts plenty of outfield options.
The veteran will likely be eased back into action, and it’s a bit unclear just where he’ll end up contributing. Manager Dave Roberts says that Ethier will receive “occasional starts,” MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick tweets, but it remains to be seen how that’ll occur. Ethier has seen action all over the outfield in recent years, but the Dodgers already have a full array of left-handed-hitting options. Joc Pederson has a lock on center, Josh Reddick was acquired at the trade deadline to play in right, and Andrew Toles has been a revelation through 24 games of action.
Expanded rosters will leave plenty of room for flexibility, of course, but this all promises to make for some interesting decisions when the time comes to set postseason rosters. Ethier will be playing not only for a chance to participate in the playoffs, but also to set up his place on next year’s team. The veteran has been productive of late, but has also been mentioned quite frequently as a trade candidate — though he has achieved full no-trade protection through ten-and-five rights. Ethier is owed $17.5MM next year, with a $2.5MM buyout on a $17.5MM option for 2018 still to go thereafter.