When one door closes, another one opens.
It's been less than a week since the Los Angeles Dodgers lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros, but the front office is already making plans for the future.
Those plans began earlier this week, when the Dodgers declined the 2018 option on veteran outfielder Andre Etheir, making him a free agent after spending the last 12 years of his career in Los Angeles.
Now before you grab your pitchforks and torches and gather a mob outside Dodger Stadium, fans need to understand that the reason why the team declined the option on the fan-favorite Ethier was strictly for financial reasons only.
Ethier was set to make $17.5 million for the 2018 season, despite playing in just 38 total games the last two seasons. Ethier's buyout was just $2.5 million, saving the Dodgers $15 million to either re-sign Ethier at a lower price, or go after big name free agents in the offseason like current starter Yu Darvish, free agent Jake Arrieta, or Japanese sensation Shohei Otani.
As much as Dodger fans love the player they affectionately call "Dre," Ethier has been a shell of his former self over the last two seasons, missing the first five months of both the 2016 and 2017 season with injuries.
First, Ethier broke his tibia during spring training in 2016 after he fouled a ball off his shin in a preseason game. Nearly a year later, Ethier missed the first five months of the 2017 season with a herniated disc in his back as well as ankle injuries.
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Relegated to rehabilitation for the better part of the last two seasons, Ethier has taken on more of a leadership role in the clubhouse, mentoring Rookies Cody Bellinger and Andrew Toles among others.
On the bright side, despite being riddled with injuries, Ethier made the postseason roster in each of the last two seasons and was a valuable pinch-hitter off the bench.
The 35-year-old left-hander went 8-for-34 with two home runs and four walks in the final month of the regular season, and batted .308 with a home run in 15 plate appearances in the playoffs.
Ethier also drove in the only Dodgers' run with a pinch-hit RBI single in Game 7 of the World Series in what could be his final at-bat in Dodger blue.
If it was his last at-bat as a Dodger, Ethier finishes with a .285/.359/.463 slash line during his 12 years in Los Angeles. Over that time, the outfielder appeared in two All Star Games, won a Gold Glove, and hit 162 home runs.
Ethier's future is now entirely in his own hands. He could return to the Dodgers on a less expensive one-year deal, he could opt for a DH role with an American League team, he could sign with the his hometown team the Arizona Diamondbacks, or he could opt for retirement after injuries shortened his last two seasons.
One player that will be returning to the Dodgers for the 2018 season is second baseman Logan Forsythe. One day after declining the option on Ethier, the team exercised their option on Forsythe.
Forsythe will return for $9 million in 2018 and is projected to be the starting second baseman for the Boys in Blue.
Forsythe had an up-and-down season with the Dodgers in 2017, batting. 224 with 37 home runs, 57 doubles and a career-high 69 walks.
Despite his regular season struggles, Forsythe shined in the postseason, slashing .297/.435/.351 with nine runs scored and nine walks in 14 playoff games.