Dodgers, Ethier agree to 1-year deal

Outfielder Andre Ethier, who batted .305 with 20 homers and 77 RBIs last year. agreed to a #3.1 Million contract and avoided arbitration. Ethier, who received $424,500 last year without the leverage of arbitration, was seeking $3.75 million this year with the club offering $2.65 million, and the mid-point was only $100,000 off.

The 26-year-old outfielder can earn the $100,000 in performance bonuses -- $25,000 for 596 plate appearances, his total last year; $25,000 for 625 and $50,000 for 650.

"Neither side was tremendously happy with it, the earmark of a successful agreement," general manager Ned Colletti said. "We found a creative way to reach the midpoint and make the bonuses attainable and make it a win-win for both sides."

"It was a little annoying and frustrating, you'd think things could have been resolved earlier," an obviously relieved Ethier said after arriving in the clubhouse at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. "Sometimes it takes putting on the suits and calling each other's bluffs to get it done."

Ethier, who turns 27 in April, led the club with a .305 average, 20 homers and a .325 average with runners in scoring position last year and was second on the club with 77 RBIs and 90 runs scored. He had an .885 combined on-base and slugging percentage.

Ethier, who has less than three full Major League seasons, qualified for arbitration as one of his class' "Super-Two" group, or top 17 percent in service time.

The young outfielder said both sides met in a hotel conference room, "sat down and stared at each other, waiting for someone to flinch and everyone started flinching at the same time," he said. "Both sides knew resolve was the best. There was a lot to be lost on either side of the results.

"It takes compromise. Is it worth going to the hearing and making the case go through for $100,000 either way and causing some animosity between each other? I don't think so." Neither did the Dodgers.

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