Looks like James Loney is as afraid of Kim Ng as he is of power and productivity, since he avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a one year, $4.875m deal for 2011. That’s closer to the Dodger offer of $4.7m than it was to his $5.25m filing.
That’s not an entirely a dig on Loney, because no one goes to arbitration against Ng. It’s happened only twice since she began handling the cases in 2002, and in each case the player (Eric Gagne, then Joe Beimel) lost.
Still, $4.875m is getting up there for a player who hasn’t broken out, and if 2011 doesn’t show some marked improvement I can’t imagine the Dodgers bother with another round of arbitration. That’d put him into the $5m range for 2012 at the least, and would seem to make him a prime non-tender candidate.
Remember, the player we hear most often about what Loney could be like is Mark Grace, and while Grace was a nice player he was no one’s idea of a superstar. Yet the WAR graphs below show that Loney has a long way to go just to even reach those modest heights:
Big year for you in 2011, James. Big year.