Mets acquire 1B James Loney from San Diego Padres

By JT. Teran
Sep 18, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney (21) hits a 2-RBI double during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays first baseman James Loney (21) hits a 2-RBI double during the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Mets add Loney to help fill-in Duda’s absence at first

The Mets have decided on the short-term replacement for Lucas Duda at first base. On Saturday night, the club announced it had acquired left-handed first baseman James Loney from the Padres for cash. Loney, who had been playing in the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate this year, has hit .342/.373/.424 so far. The 10-year veteran tweeted out early Saturday morning his love for the city of NY after the move was confirmed by numerous reports.

The Mets were forced to make this move after 1B Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back. There is unfortunately still no timetable for his return, hence why the Mets needed to act quickly in looking for a replacement.

This latest acquisition should also mark the end of Eric Campbell‘s stay at first. Campbell, who is the third option at first base, saw his play time extended greatly after both Duda and Wilmer Flores got hurt. Wilmer’s time in the DL is up, and will more than likely split time at first base with Loney going forward.

James Loney, who debuted for the Dodgers in 2006, is a solid major leaguer. His career line of .280/.338/.411 is pretty serviceable, but his struggles against lefties have held him back recently. He had a down year in 2015, but seems to be bouncing back in the minors, at least. A platoon between him and Flores could end up working the best at first base. Flores, who actually hit lefties pretty well, struggles against right-handed pitching. His .955 OPS vs lefties will be extremely useful when the 32-year-old Loney is forced to sit out.

"“We are very, very happy to get James,” said Mets manager Terry Collins when asked about the acquisition. “He’s a very good first baseman.”"

Collins has known Loney since he was 17 years-old.

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Look for Loney to make his debut within the next couple of days at Citi. The Mets face the Dodgers’ lefty Clayton Kershaw on Sunday, and White Sox’s southpaw Jose Quintana on Monday. Unless there’s a late-inning defensive move, or pinch hit opportunity, Loney’s first appearance with the Mets should happen on Tuesday vs Chicago’s Mat Latos.

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