2:16pm: Ethier calls the retirement report “totally untrue” and says he’s preparing to play in 2018, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com tweets.
1:08pm: Former Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has told family and friends that he is retiring, Robert Murray of FanRag reports. The 35-year-old Ethier had been on the open market since Nov. 5, when the Dodgers declined his $17.5MM option for 2018 in favor of a $2.5MM buyout.
Ethier turned pro when the Athletics used a second-round pick on him in the 2003 draft, but he never cracked the majors with the A’s. Rather, he spent his entire big league career with the Dodgers, who acquired him in exchange for outfielder Milton Bradley and infielder Antonio Perez in 2005. Ethier debuted in Los Angeles in 2006 and immediately became a staple of the team’s offense, slashing .308/.365/.477 in 441 plate appearances to finish fifth in the National League Rookie of the Year voting.
While Ethier took a step back during his second season, he rebounded in 2008, the beginning of a six-year stretch defined by both terrific offensive production and durability. Ethier appeared in between 135 and 160 games in each of those seasons and combined to bat .286/.363/.471 with 117 home runs and 16.6 fWAR in 3,588 PAs. The sweet-swinging lefty earned two All-Star appearances (2010-11), a Silver Slugger (2009) and a Gold Glove (2011) during that period, in which the Dodgers clinched three playoff trips.
Ethier did enough over his first several seasons for LA to award him a five-year, $85MM contract extension in June 2012, though the deal didn’t work out as hoped. While the Dodgers won the National League West in each of Ethier’s final five seasons and took home the NL pennant in 2017, he wasn’t a consistent contributor over the life of the contract, in part because of injuries. Ethier totaled a mere 26 PAs in 2016 after suffering a broken leg in spring training and racked up just 38 trips to the plate in his final season as he dealt with back problems. He did participate in the Dodgers’ run to the World Series, though, with four hits and two walks in 15 PAs. In what will go down as the last at-bat of his career, Ethier knocked in the Dodgers’ only run of their Game 7 World Series loss to Houston with a pinch-hit single in the sixth inning.
A lifetime .285/.359/.463 hitter who amassed 162 homers, Ethier stands as one of the most productive offensive players in the Dodgers’ storied history. He ranks in the franchise’s top 20 in games, PAs, at-bats, homers, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, walks and runs batted in.
Either will walk away from the sport having earned upward of $112.6MM as a Dodger, per Baseball-Reference. MLBTR congratulates Ethier on a terrific career and wishes him the best in retirement.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.