James Loney “is all but certain to” remain with the Dodgers

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Earlier this week Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com wrote that “James Loney is the position player the Dodgers are most willing to trade,” yet today Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times wrote that “Loney, despite rumors the team is looking to trade him, is all but certain to return at first base.”

Two good reporters with what are no doubt very connected sources … and two very different reports about the same player.

I have no idea which report is right–although technically they could both be accurate–but I do know that the Dodgers should be shopping Loney. He earned $3.1 million this season and is line for a guaranteed raise via arbitration despite hitting just .267 with a .329 on-base percentage, .395 slugging percentage, and 10 homers in 161 games.

There’s been a lot of talk about the Dodgers needing to improve their offense by bringing in some big bats and that’s certainly true, but the fact that their first baseman hasn’t cracked an .800 OPS in three seasons doesn’t help either. Loney is a solid enough all-around player, but his offensive production is below average at first base and he’s about to get expensive. He’s exactly the type of player the Dodgers should be fielding calls on.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.