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James Loney signs to be a two-way player for an independent league team

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When last we heard from James Loney he was being released by the Atlanta Braves in May of 2017. That release came, like, five days after they signed him to maybe cover for the then-injured Freddie Freeman. He became expendable when the Braves brain trust decided that Matt Adams would be better at that. He probably was.

Before that it was a minor league stint with the Tigers. Loney’s last big league action came in 2016, when he hit .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs and 34 RBI in 366 plate appearances for the Mets. That probably will remain his last big league action, but he will soon be playing baseball once again:

Loney, like just about every former big leaguer who signs with the Skeeters, is from Houston, so the commute will probably be an easy one for him. Hopefully we’ll at least get some good video of him striking some guy out or maybe hitting one 430 feet. He was never quite the player people thought he’d be, but I liked watching him play for some reason, so good luck to him.

 

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.