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Agent for Dodgers' Andre Ethier: He loves L.A.

March 30, 2011 | 11:38 am

Andre Ethier would be happy to finish his career with the Dodgers, the agent for the outfielder said Wednesday.

Ethier created a bit of a stir this week, publicly questioning whether the Dodgers would retain him next year, even though he is not eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season. Ethier also said he had no idea that his agent had spoken with the Dodgers over the winter about a possible contract extension.

In a statement Wednesday, agent Nez Balelo said he had informed Ethier of the extension discussions. But he said the Dodgers never made a formal offer, and that Ethier denied any knowledge of the talks because the agent and the team agreed not to speak publicly about them.

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti disclosed the talks Tuesday as he took questions in response to Ethier's comments. Colletti said he had a "couple discussions" but "nothing that gained much ground."

The Dodgers hold Ethier's rights through next season. They could trade him -- perhaps if they were to believe they could not sign him to an extension and did not want to risk losing him in free agency -- or simply not offer him a contract, a prospect at which Colletti scoffed Tuesday.

Balelo's statement:

As Ned said Tuesday, we did have some conversations regarding an extension for Andre. But at no time was an offer ever made. As I do with all my clients, I kept Andre informed on all developments. But since we agreed with the Dodgers not to speak publicly about our talks, Andre kept to his word and denied any knowledge of them. Knowing Andre's passion for Dodgers fans and the city, I can vouch for Andre's statement that he is open to staying in Los Angeles for the rest of his career.

-- Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez

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