Cubs Taking A Look At James Loney

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The Winter Meetings are underway, and we already have our first trade rumor regarding the Chicago Cubs. Heading into the Winter Meetings, the Cubs are hoping to obtain a new first baseman and another starting pitcher for their rotation. However, the early indication from day 1 of the Winter Meetings is that the Cubs are focused on finding a new first baseman before adding another starting pitcher.

According to Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago, the Cubs have had multiple conversations with the Los Angeles Dodgers regarding their first baseman James Loney. The Cubs first inquired on Loney at the Owners Meetings back in November, however, the Dodgers told the Cubs that they were not willing to move Loney at that time. But, According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Dodgers have made James Loney available as the Winter Meetings begin.

Loney, is coming off of a down year with the Dodgers in 201o, as he hit .267/.329/.395 with 10 home runs and 88 RBI’s. Loney is a career .288 hitter, and probably would see an increase in power if he were to play most of his games at Wrigley Field, instead of in the spacious Dodger Stadium. On defense, Loney is good, but not great, as he does have a limited range factor.

James Loney would be an inexpensive option for the Cubs, who already do not have a lot of money to use this winter on free agents and trades. The Dodgers tendered Loney a contract last week, and he is expected to earn around $4.5MM next season. The asking price on Loney is not that high either, as the Dodgers are asking for two-mid level prospects, or a major league player and a mid-level prospect. Since the Dodgers are looking for a starting pitcher, the Cubs could offer up Tom Gorzelanny as part of a Loney deal.

Also, in the report by Ken Rosenthal, the Cubs are focused on free agent first baseman Carlos Pena. However, I think the Cubs would be better off with James Loney. Because, if the Cubs were to sign Pena, he would only be a one or two year option for the Cubs. Whereas Loney,26, has the potential to be the Cubs long term solution at first base. Not to mention, it would probably be cheaper for the Cubs to trade for Loney instead of sign Pena.