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James Loney would move to the outfield to make room for Pujols, Fielder

Sep 29, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

James Loney AP

How generous of him.

James Loney, who was one of the NL’s worst regulars for four months before finally finding his strong in August, said he’d be just fine moving to the outfield if the Dodgers wanted to sign either Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder this winter.

“I’ll do anything,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

Loney went on the tear of his life from Aug. 21 through the end of the season, batting .388/.438/.679 with seven homers and 28 RBI in 134 at-bats.  He had hit .254/.305/.327 with five homers and 37 RBI in 397 at-bats up until that date.

A virtual shoo-in to be non-tendered before the surge, Loney now presents the Dodgers with a difficult decision. He’s still just 27, and his likely $6 million salary in arbitration isn’t all that prohibitive. However, he’s spent four full seasons as a major league regular without being above average in any of them.

Anyway, it seems safe to say Loney won’t be the Dodgers’ left fielder next season. There’s some chance he could return as the first baseman, but if the Dodgers upgrade there, then they’ll almost certainly go cheaper in left field.

  1. scareduck - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:04 PM

    He’s still just 27, and his likely $6 million salary in arbitration isn’t all that prohibitive for a team not in bankruptcy proceedings.

    FTFY.

  2. Big Ed Robles - Sep 29, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    I don’t know what the stats say, but he appears to be a defensive beast. Its just too bad he can’t hit…

  3. dailyrev - Sep 29, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    If this guy had been hitting all season Kemp’s numbers would have been ridiculous. And if they can afford to bring Prince into the lineup behind Kemp, then this team instantly becomes a contender, if not the favorite, in that division. Prince could also donate about 10 lbs. to that stick-figure SS on Divorce McCourt, it would benefit both.

    • mlblogsrickr2009 - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:29 PM

      That stick-figure SS that you apparantly are talking about is playing like an all-star and Kemp’s numbers are ridiculous, thank you.

  4. dihigosghost - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:59 PM

    It would great to get either Prince or Albert on the Dodgers next year, but probably not going to happen. That being the case, a Gold Glove, solid hitting James Loney is a good choice at 6 or 7 million dollars a year. One of these days James might put together a great entire season instead of great half-seasons. A return of a healthy Adrian Beltre at about half the price of one of these two stars would go along way to getting the Dodgers back into contention, but, also probably not going to happen. Colletti is disastrous at free agent signing.

  5. jwbiii - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:08 PM

    Beltre won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 or 2016 (complicated vesting option) season. Do you think Colletti will still be around then?

    • dihigosghost - Sep 29, 2011 at 11:19 PM

      I sure hope not. The bigger problem, which seems strange to say, is getting rid of McCourt. I didn’t realize Adrian had signed such a long contract, good for him.

  6. purnellmeagrejr - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Sorry for nitpicking but cumulative totals would have been useful. If only there was a place on the internet where I could look them up!

  7. lanflfan - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    That depends on who replaces him. Loney has developed into a very good defensive 1B, and made some of our infield arms (especially the departed Raffy Furcal) look better by digging out their crap throws. Whoever replaces him needs to possess that ability, else it’s a push.

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