Dodgers decline option on Andre Ethier, making him a free agent

The Dodgers bid farewell to outfielder Andre Ethier on Sunday, declining his 2018 option and casting the longest-tenured member of their roster into free agency.

Ethier, 35, receives a $2.5-million buyout. The Dodgers would have owed him $17.5 million next season had they picked up his option.

Ethier played in a record 51 postseason games for the Dodgers. In what probably was his final at-bat for the team, he delivered a pinch-hit single that drove in the Dodgers’ lone run in Game 7 of the World Series.

The Dodgers acquired Ethier, a fan favorite, for outfielder Milton Bradley in 2005, in the first trade made by former general manager Ned Colletti. In his 12 major league seasons — all with the Dodgers — he made two All-Star teams and batted .285 with 162 home runs. His 303 doubles rank second to Willie Davis in the franchise’s Los Angeles history.

Ethier did not play before September in either of the last two seasons — because of a broken leg in 2016 and a herniated disk in 2017 — but rallied to make the postseason roster both times.

The Dodgers could bring him back at a much lower salary, but the team has Joc Pederson, Andrew Toles and Alex Verdugo available as left-handed hitting outfielders.

bill.shaikin@latimes.com

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