Say this about the off-season rumors that had the Dodgers shopping outfielder Andre Ethier – they were persistent.

Ethier called them more "entertaining" than unsettling. He said his mind was set at ease early on when both Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten and GM Ned Colletti publicly shot down the rumors. Colletti and manager Don Mattingly called to assure him he was in the team's plans for 2013, Ethier said.

"I think Ned and Stan came out pretty quickly not only saying they weren't looking to trade me but they didn't know where the rumors were coming from," Ethier said. "I'm not going to let something bother me if they don't even know where it's coming from.

"I heard from both Ned and Donnie saying they weren't looking to trade me and the only way it happens is if a team blows them away (with an offer). That was enough to ease my mind. ... I understand that. That's just business."

The rumors have persisted largely because free agent outfielder Michael Bourn remains unsigned. The speculated scenario would have the free-spending Dodgers sign Bourn to play centerfield and bat leadoff (a question mark in the Dodgers' 2013 lineup) with Matt Kemp then moving to right field – making Ethier expendable.

Not only would that cost the Dodgers their first-round draft pick in 2013 (as compensation for signing Bourn), it would nullify the commitment they seemed to make to Ethier when they signed him to a five-year, $85 million contract extension in June – one of the first moves made after the Dodgers' new ownership took control of the team.

"I guess that's why I can be satisfied there wasn't anything to it," Ethier said. "Why all of a sudden backpedal on what they had committed to – and what I had committed to? It bothered me at first until those guys contacted me.

"I want to be part of what's going on here."