James Loney and Dodgers avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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James Loney and the Dodgers had an arbitration hearing scheduled for next Friday, but the two sides will avoid the process by agreeing to a one-year, $4.875 million deal.

Loney requested $5.25 million and the Dodgers countered at $4.7 million, so they’re settling for $100,000 below the midpoint.

Loney will be arbitration eligible again in 2012, but he’ll presumably have to significantly increase his production to avoid being non-tendered before then.

He showed a ton of promise in 2006 and 2007, but since then has hit just .279 with a .341 on-base percentage and .409 slugging percentage in 480 games and he homered just 10 times in 588 at-bats last season. He had the second-worst OPS among all first basemen with at least 500 plate appearances last year and ranks 24th in OPS among all first basemen since 2008.