Los Angeles Dodgers Sign James Loney, Avoid Salary Arbitration

The Los Angeles Doders on Tuesday avoided arbitration with first baseman James Loney, signing him to a one-year deal. The contract is worth $6.375 million plus performance bonuses, per Loney's agency, CAA.

Loney can earn up to $125,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances per Tony Jackson of ESPN LA. Loney will earn $25,000 for 585 plate appearances, and $50,000 for each of 625 and 650 PA.

Loney hit .288/.339/.416 with 30 doubles and 12 home runs in 158 games in 2011, but his was really a tale of two seasons. In the first two months of the season, Loney was nearing historically low levels of production for a first baseman, and was hitting just .268/.311/.342 with four home runs and 31 RBI in 91 games at the All-Star break. However, Loney turned things around after the break, hitting .320/.380/.534 with 18 doubles and eight home runs in 67 games.

Loney, who will turn 28 in May, made $4.875 million last season. Just last week at True Blue LA, I guessed that Loney would earn $7.25 million in 2012 based on his performance and comparable players. Loney will be eligible for free agency following the 2012 season.

The Dodgers have $78.975 million committed to 16 players in 2012.

For more news on the Los Angeles Dodgers, be sure to read True Blue LA.

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