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.
Free agent right-hander Ervin Santana picked up a minor league deal with the White Sox, according to various reports Friday. Per Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com, Santana will make $4.33 million if he manages to crack the major-league roster this spring. Any official confirmation from the team is still dependent on the results of a physical.
The veteran righty hasn’t seen any action in MLB for some time. He was laid low by prolonged discomfort in his right middle finger last spring, and underwent a capsular release/debridement procedure that kept him off the mound for all but 24 2/3 innings of his 2018 campaign with the Twins. When healthy, however, he’s been as durable and productive as they come. Santana earned his second career All-Star distinction in 2017 and pitched to a 16-8 record in 33 starts with three shutouts, a 3.28 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9, and 2.9 fWAR through 211 1/3 innings.
Barring further complications with his pitching hand, the 36-year-old should be a stabilizing force for the White Sox’ rotation in 2019 — assuming he can beat out southpaw Manny Bañuelos and right-handers Jordan Stephens and Dylan Covey for a back-end role, that is. According to FanGraphs, the club’s starters ranked worst in the league in 2018 with a collective 5.07 ERA, 5.18 FIP, and 3.1 fWAR.