GLENDALE, Ariz. — When the Dodgers acquired catcher Yasmani Grandal at the Winter Meetings in December, president Andrew Friedman called A.J. Ellis to discuss the move before word of the trade got to the media. Friedman didn’t have to make the call. Ellis, who’s been the starting catcher here the last three years, appreciated the courtesy.
Andre Ethier did not get such a courtesy call this winter.
Ethier has played 1,275 games in a Dodgers uniform the past nine seasons. The Dodgers owe him at least another $56 million guaranteed over the next three years. Yet Ethier enters camp embroiled in a competition for the starting center fielder’s job with top prospect Joc Pederson and Chris Heisey, whom the Dodgers acquired this winter.
Ethier, who turns 33 in April, still believes he has an opportunity to be an everyday player here this season.