Free agent 1B James Loney ‘could be focus’ for Milwaukee Brewers

Sep 26, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney (21) hits a single against the New York Yankees during the first inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On a day where former Milwaukee Brewers stalwart Corey Hart reportedly inked a deal with the Seattle Mariners, his potential replacement was apparently being courted.

ESPN’s Buster Olney (among others) is reporting that the Brewers and free-agent 1B James Loney have opened up a dialogue about Loney joining the team, and that seems like a nice fit. Loney had the best season of his career in 2013 when he hit .299/.348/.430 in 598 plate appearances with the Rays, and with that explosion, he is now commanding a nice payday this off-season.

There are certainly drawbacks to any team signing Loney, and the biggest one is a lack of power. The 29-year-old Loney looks like a guy with power potential at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, but he has only 86 home runs over a 7-year career as a near full-time first baseman, and that would certainly constitute below-average power production. However, Loney has always had the “hit” tool (career .285 batting average), and he is an above-average defender at a position where most players are less than stellar in the field.

I’m not sure if Milwaukee knows exactly what they’re getting into with Loney (if the deal comes together), but if the expectations are realistic, he will likely meet them at a semi-reasonable cost.

Topics: James Loney, Milwaukee Brewers, Tampa Bay Rays

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