- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN Insider
If the Los Angeles Dodgers want alternatives to outfielder Andre Ethier from their minor league system, they’ve got them. Yasiel Puig has made an enormous impression with his energy and with how hard he plays. However, he also has demonstrated an inability to paint within the lines with simple stuff -- baseball decisions, yes, but also issues like showing up on time.
If the Dodgers are looking for a more finished player, a more predictable personality -- and less dynamic -- Joc Pedersen is an option. He’s hitting .320 for Double-A Chattanooga, with 20 extra-base hits and a .931 OPS. Pedersen is a left-handed hitter, Puig is a right-handed hitter.
But the Dodgers probably need to commit to some sort of solution with the left-handed-hitting Ethier before they call up one of those young players, and rival officials think it’ll be incredibly difficult for them to trade Ethier unless they are willing to swallow a whole lot of money. To review, Ethier’s annual salary going forward:
2013: $13.5 million
2014: $15.5 million
2015: $18 million
2016: $18 million
2017: $17.5 million
2018: A $2.5 million buyout on a $17.5 million vesting option.
So as of today, Ethier is owed about $80 million on the five-year deal he signed less than a year ago -- mid-June of last year.