Would a Red Hot Yasiel Puig be the Beginning of the End of Andre Ethier in L.A.?

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJune 3, 2013

Yasiel Puig has been promoted from Double-A.
Yasiel Puig has been promoted from Double-A.Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally did what they didn't have the guts to do after spring training—put Yasiel Puig on the MLB roster.

One has to wonder, if Puig does well in the big leagues, does it signal the beginning of the end for Andre Ethier in Los Angeles?

Puig was recalled from the minor leagues late Sunday night after hitting .313 with eight home runs and 37 RBI in Double-A.

He dominated in the spring, batting .517 with three home runs and 11 RBI in 27 games.

But with an outfield that costs the Dodgers $53.5 million this year alone, there was just no room for Puig.

Now, after his hot start in the minors, Puig is looking to stay in the big leagues.


Can Puig Hang onto the Starting Job?

Puig was called up so he could start games. There's no way the Dodgers would call him up to ride the pine, other than for an off day after playing so many days in a row.

He's going to get his chances to prove himself.

The question is, if he does prove himself, will he stay in the starting lineup for the rest of the season?

Will the Dodgers be willing to bench Ethier for the rest of the season or until they trade him?

With high-priced players, comes high-priced egos and it could form into a cancer in the clubhouse. The New York Yankees could be facing that later this year when Alex Rodriguez returns.

The bottom line is, the best player should play no matter how much money they're making.

If Puig hangs onto the starting job...


Can the Dodgers Trade Ethier?

The biggest question mark is if the Dodgers can trade Ethier. He's currently in the second year of a six-year, $95.95 million contract.

His salary will jump an extra $2 million next year, then an additional $2.5 million in 2015.

Will a team really take on that much salary or will the Dodgers be forced to pay some of it if Ethier is traded?

ESPN's Buster Olney seems to think so. In fact, he believes the New York Mets would be the best trade partner for the Dodgers, especially considering their lack of depth in the outfield.

Things were made a little more difficult in late May when manager Don Mattingly called out Ethier, saying he wanted guys that would compete.

Teams are going to look at that and may pass on him because they feel he might not put his full effort into it.

Regardless, when you combine the money and stigma of giving less than his best at times, the Dodgers may have a tough time getting rid of Ethier.


Hello Yasiel Puig

There's no question in my mind that Puig will have success in the majors.

If the Dodgers want to get back on the winning track, they'll need to keep him playing as opposed to Ethier.

Ethier has had some good seasons with the Dodgers, but he's in no way earned the salary he's currently making.

The Dodgers overpaid him so they didn't risk losing him, and this is how they're repaid. That's the price you pay when you think money solves all your issues.

Puig will earn his spot in the big leagues and it will spell the beginning of the end for Ethier in Los Angeles.


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