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Lots of Love for Andre Ethier and the Dodgers
There was a lot of love going on at the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday afternoon.
Andre Ethier was telling the truth Monday night after all — Ethier and the Dodgers had a press conference to announce the five-year extension that will keep Ethier in Los Angeles until at least 2017.
"A friend told me a couple of weeks ago, 'You were meant to play here. You wouldn't look good anywhere else,'" Ethier said.
Ethier agreed, and so the 30-year old outfielder remains. The deal reportedly has a sixth-year option that will be activated based on plate appearance requirements during the 2017 season. If the option is vested, the contract will be worth $100 million. If not, $85 million.
As was expected at these sorts of things, there was a ton of happy rhetoric. I love my teammates. I love this team. I love this player. I love this manager. And so on and so forth.
Unlike other press conferences of this nature that have taken place recently, there were no surreal moments that had a tinge of regret in its tone. It was a guy nervous at the dais rambling through his prepared bullet points for over 7 1/2 minutes giving his thanks to the Dodgers, his teammates, his family, his wife.
It's a side I've rarely seen from Ethier since my normal interactions with him come within the confines of competition. But even when talking about his future last season, there was some less than stable sentiments expressed especially with the ownership situation in flux.
"I’ve said it before, but this is the place I've wanted to be all along and I hope to finish my career in Los Angeles playing for these fans that I have developed such a special bond with," Ethier said in the press release.
Ethier didn't outright admit that having the stability of a new ownership group in place is what got this deal finalized so quickly.
"Stan [Kasten] came up to me two weeks ago, and he reiterated that they're going to get this place the best it can be going forward," Ethier explained. "Obviously that set my mind at ease.
"I knew that in general things were going to get better no matter what around here. Obviously we have the right people in place at the top to accomplish that. When you see they're willing to make this team better, it gives you a good feeling inside and lets you know that things are going to be special here for a long time."
Dodgers' General Manager Ned Colletti was more than happy to get the deal done now.
"Whenever you enter into a deal and you're in season, you need to do it at a rapid rate," Colletti said. "You can't let it drag on. It's a perilous time of year to be doing it. So you have to be quick with it."
Knowing the dearth of quality free agent outfielders in the market, Colletti against his modus operandi decided to make this deal midseason. The Dodgers have now secured their duo of Matt Kemp and Ethier further stabilizing the middle of the lineup for years to come.
It could be worse. They could have given him a 10-year, $250 million contract. Oh wait.