Steve Dilbeck hijacked most of my thoughts yesterday. Nonetheless...
I won't go so far as to say the Dodgers had no choice other than to sign Andre Ethier to an extension. Rather, I think it was the right choice. And those who say that the Dodgers overpaid for Ethier are delusional. To a point. I mean, aren't they all overpaid?? Middle relievers make $5 million these days. First baseman with no power and little consistency make north of that. The market is the market.
The question isn't so much about Andre's salary when he turns 35 and is making $17.5 million. The question is about the roster and resources. The Dodgers have several holes to fill on their roster again this winter. With too many question marks and uncertainties at at least four key positions (LF, RF, 3B, 1B) after this season, Ned was wise to plug up one of those holes with Andre.
Now, is Andre Ethier the center piece of this offense? Of course not. And he won't be getting paid like it either. Just look at the salaries of Matt Kemp, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and others. I've contended all along that Ethier is a complimentary piece and we all know that the Dodgers need more thunder in the lineup. Is $16.6 million per year (Either's average salary for the full six years) the right price for a complimentary player? Perhaps not today, but it's hard to say what the market looks like in five years. Perhaps that's reasonable for an outfielder hitting .285 with 25 homers and 90 RBIs.
This is exactly why we wanted Frank McCourt gone: to keep productive players and to stop the bargain bin shopping sprees. Signing Andre Ethier was the right thing to do, as long as Ned is given the resources to fill in the rest of the pieces.