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.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.