With all the hullabaloo about who the Red Sox were sending out of town, and the salary amounts the team was shedding in Saturday's trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers, it's been largely overlooked that the Red Sox gained a major league regular first baseman in James Loney.
At one time, the left-handed hitting Loney was considered virtually untouchable by the Dodgers. He was looked at as one of the long-term stalwarts of the team going forward, along with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Well, that is clearly no longer the case. Loney never quite lived up to expectations in L.A. Although he's one of the better defensive first basemen in baseball, Loney didn't hit enough for a corner infielder, with a .402 slugging percentage over the past five seasons.
That being said, Loney put up OPS figures over .900 in his first two limited-action campaigns in 2006 and 2007, showing a knack for hitting the gaps. In his news conference, Boston general manager Ben Cherington also said he thought Loney would be looking forward to getting out of Dodger Stadium and, like Adrian Gonzalez, has a swing well-suited for Fenway Park.
With all that being said, and knowing that the Red Sox will have some holes to fill going forward, should the Red Sox look to keep the impending free agent beyond the next six weeks? Is the 28-year-old a long-term answer at first base?
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