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.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.