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Dodgers Web musings: Is James Loney headed for the trade market?

That prospect has been advanced from more than one circle, though it normally doesn’t come attached with who the Dodgers’ new first baseman would be.

Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, one of baseball most respected national writers, is the latest to suggest that James Loney’s future may entail the trade market.

Most of the offseason attention understandably goes to the big names and top free agents. But Verducci put together a seven-man list of players on the secondary market who could have the biggest impact on the 2011 season, and there was Loney.

And’s Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi identified Loney as "the position player the Dodgers are most willing to move, according to major-league sources."

Loney is a moderate lightning rod among team followers. Praised by some for his smooth defensive play and consistent RBIs, and loathed by others who constantly lament his lack of power and signs of improvement.

He is arbitration eligible this offseason, and with another year of arbitration still ahead. Verducci estimates that Loney could command about $6 million in arbitration this year.

So the thinking is, Loney is just pricey enough that the Dodgers would consider moving him if it means solving a problem elsewhere.

Sure, but are you really going to be able to deal Loney for a power bat? If it’s just a matter of producing runs, he’s averaged 90 RBI the last three seasons.

Verducci argues Loney is a chance for another team to buy low on a player who is still only 26:

Here's what [sic] so encouraging about the thought of getting Loney out of Dodger Stadium and experiencing a breakout season: He hit 41 doubles last year and has been a much better hitter in his career on the road (.307 with a .854 OPS) than at home (.268 with a .711 OPS). He should interest the Rays, Jays, Nationals and Diamondbacks.

Even if the market is there, trading him naturally leaves another position hole for the Dodgers to fill.

Also on the Web:

-- The Times' Bill Shaikin spoke to Manny Ramirez agent Scott Boras, and the former Dodgers outfielder is finding slim pickings in the free-agent market.

--’s Ken Gurnick spoke to Rick Rhoden, the ex-Dodgers pitcher who became a professional golfer and would now like to become a minor-league pitching coach.

Rhoden spent the last month at the Dodgers’ Arizona instructional league in something of a trial coaching run. The Dodgers have yet to announce their coaching staffs at the major- or minor-league level.

--’s Mike Petriello thinks the Braves got second baseman Dan Uggla cheap and wonders where the Dodgers where in these trade talks.

-- ESPN/’s Jon Weisman takes a look at the impact of deferred contracts in the wake of signing Hiroki Kuroda.

--’s Eric Stephen doesn’t seem all that impressed that after the Dodgers sent James McDonald (and Andrew Lambo) to the Pirates for Octavio Dotel, they flipped Dotel to the Rockies six weeks later for a player to be named.

He was named Monday, and it’s Anthony Jackson, a 26-year-old outfielder who’s never played above Class AA.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Comments () | Archives (26)

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Dodgers could have had Roy Oswalt for Loney last June.

Stupid Dodgers!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Dodgers should NOT move Loney. It doesn't matter if he fails to hit 20 or more home runs. What's this obsession with him having to hit homers? I guess we're going back to that "chicks dig the long ball" mentality. Listen, everyone (you too Colletti, or whoever is making the decisions): Loney is one of the best fielding first basemen in the league, so as long as he drives in 90-95 runs and bats .285 or so, there's absolutely nothing wrong with him hitting "only" 12 or 13 homers.

Does anyone trust Ned to do anything, let alone trade Loney for value? Look at what he got for McDonald and Lambo - a few innings of crappy work from Dotel and a 26 year old who's never played above AA. Shrewd ain't the word for it. The guy doesn't have the tools to be a dog catcher let alone a GM. My guess is he'll trade Loney for some club's worthless 5th starter.
Remember, you heard it here first.

Poor Ned. Wish he would just go public with his dilemma which is (1) most free agents do not want to work for the Dodgers at any price and (2) most Dodger players do not want to work for the Dodgers at any price. Which means we are going to have to trade for quality players who have no say in the matter and they immediately move into category 2. There are some costly exceptions but at the end of the day Colletti is the poster boy for an exercise in futility. Lucky for McCourat most fans are willing participants in this charade.

bob cuomo couldn't have said it better. u don't fill one need by creating another. 1st base is one of the few positions we are actually set in. i'm completely happy with our "black version of mark grace." dude can flat-out rake and his defense is impeccable. get a 3B or a left fielder or hell, even a closer. don't mess with loney! PERIOD!!!!!

The problem with Loney is that there are a lot of 1st basemen out there with a lot of pop in their bats. I guess with his RBI talent he shouldn't be hard to trade but if it does happen I hope it's for a really fine potent HR hitter, that plays 1st, anything less would be a crime.

get james some protection in line and he'll be just fine or have him

trade places w/ ryan howard, band box vs. pitchers park

We would have already traded Loney.

In each of the last three seasons 23 1b (out of 30 teams) on avg put up higher OPS numbers than Loney. We are far from being set there. That's not good enough unless we were getting power and on base from other spots, which we aren't.

Don't trade Loney, please don't.

If you want a 1B who strikes out, hits into DP, can't field as well as Loney, and who will ultimately be on the DL - then yes, the extra 15 to 20 homers may be worth it.

I don't think so.

21, 18, 13, 33, 21, 28, 26, 10, 16

16, 15, 13, 10

The first line is Garvey's HR numbers. The second is Loney's. Until this season, Loney was only a couple a year different. It would be nice if Loney was hitting 20-plus, but the 5 to 15 home runs in exchange for the K's and DPs just isn't worth it. And if Loney had someone as good as Lopes leading off, he'd probably be pushing the 110 RBI a year that Garvey frequented.

We have bigger needs than trying to make a marginal improvement at 1B.

There are many varied opinions for or against trading James Loney. They will have no influence on the McCourt/Colletti decision.
What will have an effect will be the support at Dodger Stadium.
It's really hilarious when I see posts from admitted season ticket holders and persons who attend numerous games, complain about the McCourt/Colletti circus.
Oh, They go to just support the team. I get it.
These dolts remind me of the gal that stays with her old man after he slaps her around because she loves him and can't live without him.

I'm a big Loney fan, but I think for a great deal he gets dealt. That being said, not sure anyone offers a "great" deal. I still think he's due for a breakout year, hopefully it's with the Dodgers this year.

Loney is NOT Mark Grace. Grace was a career .300 hitter. While Loney has a nice swing, he can only dream of hitting .300. If he were a .300 hitter and getting on base as much as Gracie did, all while driving in the runs, we would not be having trade conversations. Lack of power is only one of the frustrations with a corner infielder who constantly seems to lose focus and concentration and intensity. None of those characteristics describe Mark Grace.

Loney is NOT a power-hitter. Deal with it & accept it. And if you're going to compare his OPS with the other 1B in the league, then you will also need to compare their defensive prowess. I'd put Loney pretty close to the top there. So what you may not get in power, he defintely makes up for with the leather. It's all a give and take. And what I also meant is that 1B is NOT a glaring need for us. LF, 2B, Catcher, 3B and closer ARE areas that can use improvement...

I don't trust Ned to trade Loney's baseball card, let alone our RBI machine, with a good glove and keen eye at the plate!!

Jason's point is pretty telling. Loney's defense may be good, but he's a below average hitter for his position. and his RBI totals, to me, are misleading. players hitting 4th or 5th all year are going to get the 80-90 RBI's that Loney is getting. put him 6th or 7th (where he belongs with his OPS) and he gets maybe 70 RBI's and we have no argument whether he indispensable or not. we can use Gibbons as a stopgap for now until Sands or someone else is ready. I'm willing to bet Gibbons can hit .270 and hit 25-30 hr's for us, and if he hits 4th or 5th in the order, he'll get 90-100 RBI's easy.


21, 18, 13, 33, 21, 28, 26, 10, 16

16, 15, 13, 10

Um those are not correct for Loney. His HR totals are:
15, 13, 13, 10

And his totals are going backwards...I think it will go up this year as he had quite a few doubles off the wall so he could easily have had 5 or 6 more dingers with just a little wind blowing out, so we'll see this next year. Hopefully he breaks out!

Keep Loney.

It's not that I want to get rid of Loney, I am all for bringing in better offensive players at other spots..but as a collective unit we all can see our offense is below par..and it just seems that if there is a spot to go get offense it's typically first base or left field. His defense while solid isn't that complaints about it but were not talking about a SS, C or CF here where premium defense really makes a difference. Lot's of guys can catch the ball while standing on the bag. If he was an on base base machine I could deal with the lack of slug, but he isn't.

Thanks Jon - my bad, didn't mean to mislead.

Despite my error, I'll stand with the point. We're talking a difference of 1 HR or less a month until Garvey's career-high.

I think any upgrade at 1B this offseason would be marginal and it would be easier even with our salary limits to make bigger upgrades at many positions (LF, C, 2B, 5th starter, multiple bullpen roles). Braves got what we could have used at 2B.

I'm with you - maybe this is a better HR year for Loney while retaining a .290 plus average and (if leadoff guys actually get on) more than 100 RBI.

Dump Kemp. He is a chump.

The Dodgers need players who play hard and hustle. Look at how the giants played. Kemp doesn't know how to play the game, and he doesn't care to learn.

Dump Kemp.

Chumpy Kemp:

How do you know he doesn't care to learn?
I'm sure when Kemp goes back to .297 with 25 HR and 100 RBI's and 20+ steals that everyone will forget all this mumbo jumbo about how we know what's going on in his head and he doesn't hustle stuff.
Like you can really tell that by watching. Come on.

I keep reading that the Dodgers brass is somewhat of a mystery tot eh media and their fans. No they aren't. They are just incompetent. They deal McDonald and Lambo for Dotel and now he is gone. What do we get in return? A AA ball player. Guess how many days that guy will spend in the show? Here is my guess...None! But wait, we aren't done. Let's deal a 90 rbi guy with a slick glove at first for...umm...for...Knowing Ol' Frankie, nobody...A guy to be named later and let me guess...The club will partially pay Loney's salary. Here's an idea...Hey Ned, trade Frank for another owner to be named later...

Sign Victor Martinez
He will play 1st base
Loney to left field
he doesn't produce this year
then he's gone

Loney is and will always be a mediocre scrub! Hell, Hee-Seop Choi had better stats (check MLB.COM), and the he got run out of town before given an real chance.

And enough with all the "his defense is great" garbage. Again, Choi had a better glove, much like the Big Cat. FACTS!

Where the hell is Choi these days... Colletti, maybe you should find out.

"I'm a big Loney fan, but I think for a great deal he gets dealt. That being said, not sure anyone offers a "great" deal. I still think he's due for a breakout year, hopefully it's with the Dodgers this year."

Jon: Please share whatever evidence you have that shows Loney is due for a breakout year. There is none! You and the rest of the no-nothing loney fans can cross your fingers all you want, reality is, he's not even average. Heck, his best game (singular) may already be behind him.

Suggestion: try being a fan of baseball first, and a Dodgers fan second. The other way around is clouding your thinking.


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